Tag: Google

Google’s Nearline could melt Glacier

bear_glacerGoogle is offering a new kind of data storage service which should go a long way to melting Amazon’s Glacier.

Nearline is for non-essential data, similar to Glacier, but it is offering it a cent a month per gigabyte. This is more than half the cheapest in the market place, which is Microsoft’s 2.4 cents a gigabyte.

Glacier storage has a retrieval time of several hours, and Nearline data will be available in about three seconds.

While three seconds is years for something like serving a web page, it is ideal for data analysis as well as long-term storage.

This could be Google’s cunning plan – positioning itself as the cloud computing company for all kinds of data analysis.

Tom Kershaw, director of product management for the Google Cloud Platform said that it is not about storage stupid. Its about what you do with analytics. Set ups like Nearline will mean you never have to delete anything and you can always use data.

Google announced plans with several storage providers, including Veritas/Symantec and NetApp, to encrypt and transport data from their systems onto Nearline.

On the consumer front, Dropbox charges about $10 a month to store a terabyte of data, which is the same price as Nearline and Glacier. However those businesses count on most of their customers storing well below their limit.

Either way it is looking like things are hotting up on the cloud with costs being driven down. Scattered showers much be expected.

 

 

Googler takes over Patent Office

William_Hemsley_The_young_poacher_1874In a classic poacher turned game keeper scenario, a former Google executive has taken over the US Patent Office.

The US Senate confirmed former Google Inc executive Michelle Lee will head the US Patent and Trademark Office. No one has taken the job for two years ever since David Kappos, a former IBM suit, left in February 2013.

Lee was a lawyer and head of patents and patent strategy at Google, and had been the acting director of the office. The patent office has been slammed for approving what some say are weak software related-patents that have given ground to Patent Trolls.

Lee’s main task will be to improve the quality of patents granted by the agency and send the trolls back to live under their bridges.

Another complaint has been the agency’s long backlog in examining patents. In December 2011, the unexamined backlog was almost 722,000 patents. It currently stands at 602,265, according to the agency’s website.

 

You’re trapped by mobile ads

330ogleA frenzy of competition from major vendors for advertising revenue including the mobile market means growth between now and 2020 compared to the conventional advertising market.

That’s the conclusion of ABI Research today, which said in a report the competition is between Yahoo, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and others to push adverts at you through your mobile device.

Growth in the mobile advertising market is set to grow 16 percent CAGR between 2015 and 2020, compared to the total advertising market at 11 percent.

ABI thinks that mobile advertising will represent over 50 percent of total advertising revenue in the next few years.

Right now, Twitter and Facebook have the largest chunk of the market and so the strongest mobile advertising revenues.

The research company believes that there will be plenty of acquisitions as the different players jockey for position to grow their revenues.

Google is the clear leader in the search advertising sector but it faces increasing competition in the years to come, too.

Android ruled the smart roost in 2014

Android building, WikimediaIn 2014 Android was dominant as the operating system for smart devices – including smartphones and tablets.

And while Google’s Android OS will rule the roost this year too, as more “intelligence” goes into cars, glasses, and watches, ABI Research thinks its dominance will reach its peak between 2014 and 2019, showing only a modest CAGR of 10 percent.

Android will have competition from Chrome and Firefox, according to Stephanie Van Vactor, an analyst at ABI Research.

She predicts that those will show CAGRs of 29 percent and Chrome respectively in that time period.

Of course Chrome is also a Google product, but she thinks Android will work well with it.

The move to smart devices means that people will have a lot more choice in choosing an operating system. The research company didn’t say how well it thinks Microsoft’s OS for smartphones and the like will do.

 

Apple, Google scramble to fix bug

330ogleBoth Google and Apple devices are vulnerable to a bug and the companies are rushing to create patches for people that have such devices.

The bug – named Freak – has been in devices for years and follows US government rules in the 1990s which forced tech vendors to offer weak encryption for devices being exported abroad. While the US government changed those rules, the vulnerability remained in later iterations of the software.

Google has apparently already fixed the bug, while Apple will push an update as early next week.

Freak stands for factoring attack on RSA-Export keys – and was apparently first discovered by French researchers, whose findings were later confirmed by other experts in the field.

Quite a few well known websites, including government websites, support the less secure encryption but Google has advised people to disable that support.

Schmidt triggers Euro debate

Google's Eric "Google Glass" SchmidtThe chairman of Google was summoned to meet the European Competition Commissioner yesterday, as investigations continue into alleged monopolistic habits.

Margarethe Vestager called Eric Schmidt in to discuss a number of complaints about Google, according to a report by Reuters.

Vestiges has already met a number of people complaining about Google, including executives from Microsoft and German press Axel Springer.

Google has, according to the report, has tried to settle the complaints about search engine three times, but all blandishments from the behemoth have been rebuffed.

If the competition commissioner finds that Google has been squeezing out other players in the European market, she could decide that the company has to dish out a tenth of its global revenues, that’s around $6 billion or so.

DT boss calls for Google regulation

330ogleThe CEO of Deutsche Telekom has made a very precise call for Google and Facebook to be regulated in the same way that telcos are.

Tim Hoettges said that there was a convergence between over-the-top web companies and classic telcos and there needs to be one regulatory environment to rule them.

Improvements should be made to spectrum policy for the telecommunications industry, and that the loosening of regulation would encourage the type of investment that governments and policy-making bodies are currently seeking from carriers.

Hoettges said that policy-makers should leave telecoms groups adequate operational freedom to develop IoT-related services such as smart meters and intra-communicating cars, commenting: “We favour net neutrality, but we need to be allowed to have quality classes to enable new services in the Internet of Things.”

Being in favour of net neutrality is different from his US rivals who want everyone to pay them twice for a service that the rest of the world gets for half the price.

Interest in the possible government regulation of Google grows in line with the ever expanding services, reach and influence of Mountain View’s empire.

In fact there have been calls for the regulation of Google since 2012 when Dr Robert Epstein laid out some of the most popular arguments for the regulation of Google, partially-based on evidence, fines following controversies such as the extraction of wifi data during the gathering of photographic information for Google Maps, and partially on his view of Google’s real place in the economy as an ungoverned monopoly.

Google retreats on Blogger smut

330ogleEarlier this week, Google’s Blogger service warned people that on the 23rd of March it would cull adult content from its users’ web pages.

But now Google has changed its mind after it said, it had received feedback that had convinced it to backtrack.

Google had said it would mark blogs that contained sexually explicit material as private.

Instead, it will now ask people to mark their web sites as “adult”, a flag which will mean a warning page pops up before redirecting people to the particular site.

A Blogger rep posted a message which said: “We’ve had a ton of feedback, in particular about the introduction of a retroactive change (some people have had accounts for 10+ years), but also about the negative impact on individuals who post sexually explicit content to express their identities. So rather than implement this change, we’ve decided to step up enforcement around our existing policy prohibiting commercial porn.”

No other changes need be made than for people to mark their sexually explicit pages as “adult”

China irritates tech firms

chinaflagA law set to be passed by Chinese authorities would make tech vendors provide the government with encryption keys and put backdoors in systems.

According to Reuters, the law relates to counter terrorism and the legislation is likely to be passed into law in the near future.

Other elements of the counter terrorism law include a reqirement for companies to locate their servers and user data in China, as well as forcing vendors to censor content that China believes is related to terrorism.

China already forces banks to buy from home grown vendors, rather than buying abroad.

Reuters said that the implications of this new piece of legislation would be to forbid secure VPNs, to send financial information securely, and to hide any detail of a commercial business.

Google might find itself thanking its lucky stars that it doesn’t do business in mainland China, but other vendors including Apple, Intel and Microsoft will certainly be hit by the legislation.

AMD does not think Chromebooks are worth it

AMD, SunnyvaleAMD chief technical officer Mark Papermaster has dismissed Chromebooks as “not worth it” and explained why his outfit is not behind the technology.

He said that it was important to look at Chromebook and what Google’s grand plan with it is.

“For us, it’s just a business decision, when you need our type of CPU and graphics technology that can make a difference.”

Chromebook sales are tiny. IDC estimated that 4.6 million Chromebooks were sold in 2014, compared to 304 million PCs for the year.

Intel has come to dominate Chromebook sales with Celeron and Atom chips, although some models also feature third-party ARM chips inside.

But Chromebooks are generally considered low-cost productivity machines and AMD is trying to place itself as a graphics and media chipmaker. Carrizo, dedicates four “Excavator” CPU cores against eight Radeon graphics cores and16 percent of the die is dedicated to CPU cores.
“For us, it’s when do you need our CPU and graphics capability that can make a difference,” Papermaster said. “Again, you’ll see that there’s these rock-bottom markets… so those don’t have our value proposition.”

“We play in the whole range of the market. We’ll play in the low-cost value” market, Papermaster added. “You have to at least get paid for that value when you’re working on graphics. You go below that, and you’re looking at $7 chips.”

Google reorganises in EU

330ogleThe search engine also known as Google is restructuring its European businesses to cope with the fact that the EU might want it to be a little more reasonable on privacy and anti-trust issues.

Google merged its two European regional divisions claiming it needed to “meet the challenges of tougher regulation across the continent”,

The internet giant is merging its northern and western European division with the unit covering southern and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The move will simplify the organisation, both for commercial reasons as well as to work more effectively with business partners and policy makers.

The tax-friendly Dublin will still remain as Google’s Euro-base, and the reorganisation will not result in job losses, the source said.

Google has been given a good kicking by European Commisioners for its tax avoidance antics and tendency towards what the EU considers playing fast and loose on privacy matters.

In response, Google has argued that for Europe to remain competitive in global markets, it needs to form a single digital market instead of relying on national regulations in its 28-member states that often act to protect local industries.

It appears that Google is pinning its hopes on former British Olympic rower Matt Brittin to sort out the mess. Brittin led Google’s northern and western European division and will head up the combined Europe, Middle East and Africa operation while Carlo d’Asaro Biondo, formerly head of the other regional unit, will take on a strategy role.

D’Asaro Biondo is a former media suit who worked for Lagardère, AOL Europe and computer services company Unisys, will continue to work from Paris.

He will manage Google’s strategic partnerships in the region, which include working to deepen ties with newspaper publishers, telecom operators and carmakers.

Brittin has packed his executive bag and headed to Brussels to argue the company’s case that it serves as a growth engine for European business, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, because the Internet helps create a level playing field. But then again so do monopolies only the bloke owning the level playing field makes a fortune renting it out for others to play on.

Microsoft gives kids a cloud

Clouds in Oxford: pic Mike MageeAs part of its push to dominate the cloud, software giant Microsoft is giving away free Office 365 subscriptions to students outside the US.

Schools will have to buy subscriptions for staff and faculty, but once they do, students  – and even teachers – can self-install for no charge by using a school-issued email address at the Office in education website.

This will give Microsoft a huge customer base for its products, after signing up, kids will get access to the newest Office, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access and Publisher, and be able to install them on up to five computers and five phones or tablets.

An account also comes with Office Online and a 1TB of OneDrive storage.

The move could totally kill off moves by Google to get its cloud storage system into schools, or for that matter Apple’s push to get its expensive tablets into the education market.

The advantage of Microsoft giving away the software to school kids is that it instils a generation with training on its software which will be carried over to business decisions made later in life.

In the US, Apple and Google have been making inroads into the schools market, based on marketing in Apple’s case and cheaper software in Google’s.

Tablets slow right down

cheap-tabletsOnly 221.4 million tablets will ship worldwide this year – a drop of 11.9 percent compared to 2014.

That’s according to Digitimes Research (DR), which predicts that Apple will continue to take the lead, managing to ship over 54 million units this year. While this sounds healthy, that’s a predicted decline of 16/6 percent.

The so-called “white box” market will see the biggest decline, with a drop of 20 percent. Margins on these products are super slim.

DR gives estimates for the different vendors’ shares of the market – with Apple accounting for 24.5 percent, Samsung 16.3 percent, Lenovo 5.3 percent, Asustek 4.2 percent, Google 1.7 percent, Acer 1.7 percent, and Amazon only 1.6 percent.

Meanwhile, a report in Chinese language Economic Daily News said that Amazon has cut orders of tablets, sourced by Compal and Quanta by as much as 30 percent.

Compaq has the lion’s share of Amazon tablet business, churning out 80 percent of them compared to Quanta’s 20 percent, the Economic Daily News said.

 

Peak Google is the latest daft rumour

Google's Eric "Google Glass" SchmidtThe US tech press is full of a bizarre story that Google might have hit its peak.

According to NPR, some tech industry observers aren’t sure that Google will be ready for the next big thing and there is talk of something called “Peak Google”.

Farhad Manjoo wrote in The New York Times:  “Technology giants often meet their end not with a bang but a whimper, a slow, imperceptible descent into irrelevancy.”

Now apparently Google is having trouble mastering mobile. When you look at the fact that most of the world uses Google Android this one might be a little hard to swallow, but apparently it is all because smartphones and mobile computing have killed off the PC and no one wants to buy adverts.

In a world cantered on a fragmented mobile advertising market, Google could suffer.

Google has also not had much luck with getting its innovations into the market. Resources have been directed toward lots of flashy ideas that, in many cases, ultimately lack in financial follow-through.  Google Glass was a case in point.

Other reasons include the normal esoteric decline which always follows businesses which get too big. It is normal among technology companies for a dominant company to be unable to dominate the next big thing. Industry giants lack the manoeuvrability of a younger company.

However there is are some reasons to believe that all this is total rubbish. Google has so much money sitting in the bank it can just buy the new technology it needs. It bought Android in 2006 and Nest in 2014. There is no reason that it just can’t buy its way into the next big thing.

In addition, it is curious that few people are saying the same thing about a tech empire with even less ability to adapt – Apple. If Google goes then surely Apple will be long gone before the search engines demise.  After all tablets are tanking, ipods have long vanished, the smartphone market is saturated, and Apple, unlike Google, is out of ideas.

Google’s blog platform acts to block porn

Google the OgleSearch giant Google said that after March 23rd this year, people using its Blogger platform won’t be able to show images or videos that are sexually explicit.

However, in a statement it said that Blogger will allow nudity “if the content offers a substantial public benefit, for example in artistic, educational, documentary or scientific contexts”.

Existing blogs that do have sexually explicit material will be made private after that date, and while no content will be deleted, “private content can only be seen by the owner or admins of the blog and the people who the owner shared the blog with”.

People that have material like this can remove the sexually explicit material to avoid being deleted or marked private.

Blogger did not say the reasons for it changing its terms and conditions.