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"Nothing fades away anymore."

The Solace of Oblivion by Jeffrey Toobin [The New Yorker] "In Europe, the right to be forgotten trumps the Internet."
posted by Fizz on Sep 22, 2014 - 22 comments

Who is really listening?

An international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) is a unique number, usually fifteen digits, associated with Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) network mobile phone users. An IMSI catcher is a device, used by the NSA drone program, the police, criminals, Chinese spammers and spies all around Washington DC and the world to spoof the identity of a GSM cell tower and intercept cellular voice and data communication. They come in all sizes and flavors, from tiny or body-worn professional surveillance devices, to easy to order off the shelf solutions, to Chinese DIY (links in Chinese) and have spawned efforts to retaliate with an IMSI-catcher-catcher. IMSI-catcher technology has become increasingly widespread, with far-reaching constitutional and technical implications.
posted by T.D. Strange on Sep 22, 2014 - 13 comments

Games for tomorrow's programmers.

Blockly Games is a series of educational games that teach programming. It is designed for children who have not had prior experience with computer programming. By the end of these games, players are ready to use conventional text-based languages.
posted by boo_radley on Sep 4, 2014 - 20 comments

DuckDuckGo

Here's how one small company is slowly, surely beating its way into the most monopolized category in technology: Inside DuckDuckGo, Google's Tiniest, Fiercest Competitor.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Sep 1, 2014 - 66 comments

Project Wing

Inside Google's Secret Drone Delivery Programme The Australian test flight and 30 others like it conducted in mid-August are the culmination of the first phase of Project Wing, a secret drone program that’s been running for two years at Google X, the company’s whoa-inducing, long-range research lab.
posted by modernnomad on Aug 28, 2014 - 37 comments

Top Five Architecture Maps

Top Five Architecture Maps:
  • Iconic Houses is an international network connecting architecturally significant houses from the 20th century that are open to the public as house museums. The Iconic Houses website includes a useful Google Map showing the location of architecturally significant houses around the world.
  • Archilovers is a social network for architects, designers and lovers of architecture. Users of the network can post projects, exchange opinions and interests, and get to know designers and architects around the world.
  • The World Architecture Map (WAM) is a database of architectural information that uses Google Maps to show the locations of architectural interesting buildings around the world. It is possible to search for buildings on WAM by location, building type, architectural style or by tags.
  • Arti-Fact is great collection of architecturally important buildings and sculptures that can be found on Google Maps Street View.
  • MIMOA is a Google Maps based guide to modern architecture around the world. It is possible to browse the collection of modern architectural gems by location and by type of project.
[via Google Maps Mania]
posted by Room 641-A on Aug 20, 2014 - 2 comments

Google and CSU team up to advance the state of artificial intelligence

Evolving QWOP gaits is the first work that samples video from the QWOP game to drive the fitness function of a genetic algorithm, which allows a fully autonomous simulated runner to kind of slowly shuffle forward, effectively achieving human-like levels of performance.
posted by Jpfed on Aug 18, 2014 - 12 comments

Google Tackles Aging With Calico

Calico, the company Google launched in September to try to cure death by tackling aging and illness, now has an official website..." [more inside]
posted by danabanana on Aug 12, 2014 - 133 comments

Justine Tunney

Just who IS Justine Tunney? Is she a "far-left socialist" or a "far-right monarchist"? Or is she just a very talented troll?
posted by josher71 on Aug 7, 2014 - 145 comments

Google detects child porn images in user's gmail, leading to arrest

Google's updated Terms of Service state explicitly that the company automatically analyzes all email content to create targeted advertising. This case, in which Google identified child porn images in a user's email message, leading to his arrest, seems to be one of the first known instances of Google monitoring personal gmail accounts for illegal activity. The arrest raises questions over the privacy of personal email and Google's role in policing the web. [more inside]
posted by argonauta on Aug 4, 2014 - 75 comments

"Foursquare with Space Noises" comes to iOS

Ingress, the popular GPS-Enabled Android game from Google's internal tech startup, Niantic Labs, winner of Top Game of 2013 at the Google Play Player's Choice Awards, was released for iOS 7.0 devices this week. [Previously on MeFi] [more inside]
posted by radwolf76 on Jul 18, 2014 - 50 comments

Merry Christmas (Nymwars are over)

Google Plus apologises and reverses its real name requirements. Violet Blue pots the history of this front of the nymwars. Previously
posted by Sparx on Jul 16, 2014 - 79 comments

An increasingly-frustrated Google Guy

What if Google was a guy? [part 3]. Includes special guest Siri. [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jul 14, 2014 - 23 comments

A Supposedly Fun Thing You'll Maybe Click Around Once

Google Street View your way through a Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship. [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee on Jul 7, 2014 - 42 comments

Living in a Fool’s Paradise

San Francisco must change. "...the current state of permitting regulations for building and the glacial pace of infrastructure projects in San Francisco benefit very few people and risk turning it into a caricature of its former self for tourists and residents rich enough to live in a fantasy, not a living city. If there was ever a time when San Francisco needed to embrace a dynamic, expansive policy for building housing, offices and transportation, it is now." (Previously: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.)
posted by ambrosia on Jul 6, 2014 - 72 comments

Google & Glen Keane - a Duet For the Ages

In March 2012, legendary animator Glen Keane sent out a letter to his colleagues at Walt Disney Animation Studios that outlined his resignation from the House of Mouse, where he'd worked for over 38 years on beloved Disney characters like Ariel, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Tarzan, and the Beast. His departure left many Disney fans wondering what was going to happen to the great master, whom many believe is one of the greatest character animators alive today, and for a while it seemed that his retirement might be permanent. Last week, however, Keane debuted his first hand-drawn animated short, Duet, which he produced with Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group in San Francisco. As you might expect, it's an absolutely breathtaking artistic and technical achievement. And it hasn't even been released in its final interactive mobile format yet. [more inside]
posted by Hermione Granger on Jul 4, 2014 - 53 comments

Early Days on Street View

Ian McClatchie, the Ambivalent Engineer, reminisces about his time on the Google Street View project. "At the time I was hired, we had two copies of the first camera set, which I dubbed R1. These had been assembled by bolting five 11 megapixel CCD based book-scanning cameras (shown below) to a plywood board, and bolting that to the roof of a car, much of which was accomplished by Elliot Kroo when he was, if I'm not mistaken, 14 years old (youngest intern ever at Google). Neither R1 worked much, due to problems with the cameras, not Elliot!"
posted by daisyk on Jul 3, 2014 - 20 comments

I can almost smell the pizza...

Have an android phone? And a pizza box? Then you can build your own Virtual Reality system. Cardboard, from google.
posted by empath on Jun 25, 2014 - 35 comments

Journey to the Centre of Google Earth

“But what shall we dream of when everything becomes visible?” Virilio replies: “We’ll dream of being blind."
posted by 0bvious on Jun 24, 2014 - 5 comments

Kilroy is HERE.

The Google Street Art Project is an online collection and exhibition about the history, locations and artists of street art. Explore all the street art exhibits by place, artist, collection, medium, and more. Part of the Google Cultural Institute.
posted by Room 641-A on Jun 20, 2014 - 1 comment

Killing the golden goose

Google prepares to kill independent labels on YouTube.
posted by boo_radley on Jun 17, 2014 - 118 comments

I am the eye in the sky, looking at you, I can read your mind

Google just bought out skybox for $500MN. Skybox is a startup with grand amibitions: create cheap satellites which can be used to provide almost real time-time, sub one meter resolution imagery of earth. Even with six small satellites orbiting Earth, Skybox could provide practically real-time images of the same spot twice a day at a fraction of the current cost. The startup sent up its first satellite SkySat-1 last November. The satellite can provide HD images and videos (90 sec clips at 30 frames/second) The start-up hopes to combine its satellites with software which can analyze the visual data to collect information. It hopes that it can use its combination of hardware and software capabilities to gather real time information to estimate oil reserves in saudi Arabia, track fuel tankers in China's 3 main economic zones, rate of increase of electricity usage in India, number of cars in all wallmart parking lots. [more inside]
posted by TheLittlePrince on Jun 12, 2014 - 100 comments

Thanks for nothing, jerkface

With Google+, it became clear that we were all little more than webs of flesh spun over packages of saleable data. The rise and fall of Google+ once again engenders strong feelings, this time in Violet Blue.
posted by telstar on Jun 7, 2014 - 107 comments

The future that everyone forgot

Apple's WWDC keynote showcased some of the upcoming advancement in their platform, but let's take time to reflect on The future that everyone forgot. Chris DeSalvo, formerly of Danger, talks about the Hiptop/Sidekick and what they did. Such as in 2004 they created a GameBoy Advance + Hiptop phone that never shipped. Chris also went onto Google, worked on Android, and penned another piece of phone-lore: The Day Google Had to 'Start Over' on Android
posted by wcfields on Jun 4, 2014 - 24 comments

Peak Advertising and the Future of the Web

"Advertising is not well. Though companies supported by advertising still dominate the landscape and capture the popular imagination, cracks are beginning to show in the very financial foundations of the web. Despite the best efforts of an industry, advertising is becoming less and less effective online. The once reliable fuel that powered a generation of innovations on the web is slowly, but perceptibly beginning to falter. Consider the long-term trend: when the first banner advertisement emerged online in 1994, it reported a (now) staggering clickthrough rate of 78%. By 2011, the average Facebook advertisement clickthrough rate sat dramatically lower at 0.05%. Even if only a rough proxy, something underlies such a dramatic change in the ability for an advertisement to pique the interest of users online. What underlies this decline, and what does it mean for the Internet at large? This short [PDF] paper puts forth the argument for peak advertising—the argument that an overall slowing in online advertising will eventually force a significant (and potentially painful) shift in the structure of business online. Like the theory of Peak Oil that it references, the goal is not to look to the immediate upcoming quarter, but to think on the decade-long scale about the business models that sustain the Internet." [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 3, 2014 - 173 comments

GooBing Detroit

GooBing Detroit: chronological photosets of houses and streets in Detroit from 2009 to 2013, made with the aid of Google Street View and Bing StreetSide. [more inside]
posted by Pruitt-Igoe on May 28, 2014 - 30 comments

Google unveils a self-driving car

Today Google unveiled their purpose-built self-driving car prototype, complete with no steering wheel, brake, or gas pedals. You just jump in, and go. The demo video is pretty impressive, and even the funnier Kara Swisher video of her first ride makes it look kind of fun. [more inside]
posted by mathowie on May 27, 2014 - 412 comments

The Mother of All Self Links?

Metafilter is laying off 3 of its staff, including long time moderator and frequent moral compass Jessamyn who is moving on to Internet Archive’s Open Library. November 2012, Metafilter experienced a sharp drop in traffic. Slate asks "Why has Google forsaken Metafilter?" But the problem is endemic of a larger issue. Google is breaking the internet. [more inside]
posted by [insert clever name here] on May 22, 2014 - 734 comments

Field testing

Why I'm sending back Google Glass
posted by figurant on May 21, 2014 - 135 comments

"We turn the cube and it twists us."

Today's Google Doodle, in honour of the 40th anniversary of the Rubik's Cube. — a fully functional, animated Rubik's Cube. [Click here for the interactive version.] [Related]
posted by Fizz on May 19, 2014 - 27 comments

These APIs© Oracle Corporation

The Oracle vs. Google decision has been reversed. [more inside]
posted by juiceCake on May 12, 2014 - 151 comments

The Untold Story Of Larry Page's Comeback

One day in July 2001, Larry Page decided to fire Google’s project managers. All of them.
posted by SpacemanStix on May 2, 2014 - 28 comments

Google has always been the caretaker

Having taken pictures of more than 6 million miles’ worth of road, Google is more than doubling the amount of global Street View imagery by adding all of its archive photography. The company’s Google Maps Web application will now include a time machine feature where users can move a slider to see all historical images of a place. As much as possible, pictures of the same place have been aligned so they have the same perspective as one another.
posted by Room 641-A on May 1, 2014 - 47 comments

Bigger than a breadboard II

Following on the heels of Phonebloks, a Google/Motorola formed a design group called Project Ara. The Verge recently interviewed Paul Eremenko, the project lead, about progress made towards modularization of mobile phone components, overcoming engineering issues, and the group assigning itself an ambitious timetable to succeed in delivering a sellable product within two years, or disbanding.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 25, 2014 - 18 comments

No Exit

Wired's Gideon Lewis-Kraus reports from the trenches of the Silicon Valley "ecosystem". [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 on Apr 25, 2014 - 79 comments

3D Reconstruction from Accidental Motion

Fisher Yu, a Princeton grad student, and David Gallup, a Google employee, have published a method for retrieving the 3D information of a scene from the small motion of the hands that occurs while taking video. They've given their paper a website that includes a video, the paper itself, and a dataset. One neat application of this is the ability to simulate short depth of field, a feature that has made it into the new Google Camera app.
posted by Maecenas on Apr 19, 2014 - 26 comments

The Google Archipelago

Google has been in Ireland since 2003, and some former Google employees and contractors with significant experience at the company say that Google’s reputation as a great employer is undeserved. Permanent staff are well taken care of, they say, but even many permanent staff are overqualified, overworked, and perform relatively menial tasks. In addition, entire layers of hidden contractors and temporary workers do much of the work without the benefits or opportunities accorded permanent staff.
posted by gorbweaver on Apr 1, 2014 - 34 comments

Paintings and Google Street View mashups

London to Amsterdam, Saint Petersburg and Tokyo to New York, well known historical paintings of city scenes around the world superimposed on to Google Street View by Halley Docherty (whose username is shystone on Reddit) | Google Street View Paintings by Raul Moyado Sandoval that he calls Metapanoramas | Also Paintings as Google Street View Maps via Lileks' wonderful Lint. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Mar 31, 2014 - 4 comments

What if Google was a guy? The questions continue.

More visualizations of the personification of our favorite search engine - now with added competitors! [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Mar 30, 2014 - 17 comments

"The Techtopus": Much bigger than we realized

Mark Ames follows up on The Techtopus (previously) with a new report showing a much larger conspiracy than has been previously reported: [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Mar 22, 2014 - 74 comments

he's the sort of genius who's not very good at boiling a kettle

Are the robots about to rise? Ray thinks so...
Google has bought almost every machine-learning and robotics company it can find... And it has embarked upon what one DeepMind investor told the technology publication Re/code two weeks ago was "a Manhattan project of AI"... Peter Norvig, Google's research director, said recently that the company employs "less than 50% but certainly more than 5%" of the world's leading experts on machine learning. And that was before it bought DeepMind which, it should be noted, agreed to the deal with the proviso that Google set up an ethics board to look at the question of what machine learning will actually mean when it's in the hands of what has become the most powerful company on the planet.
In late 2012, Ray became Google's new Director of Engineering, empowering him with extraordinary resources and latitude. [more inside]
posted by tybeet on Mar 13, 2014 - 125 comments

Netflix vs Hulu Plus vs Amazon Prime vs ...

Lifehacker: "One of the more annoying things about Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon's television streaming libraries is the vast difference between the selection available. It would be almost impossible to get a thorough idea of who has the better library without searching for hundreds of TV shows on each service and comparing them manually. So we did just that." [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Mar 4, 2014 - 105 comments

DevArt

DevArt: An exhibition of art created with code - skywriting quadcopter drones programmed with c++, room dividers reimagined as 3D screens for psychedelic projections, using raspberry pi to rename WiFi networks as lines of poetry. They are collaborating with the Barbican in London for the Digital Revolution exhibition and are currently seeking an emerging creative coder to be funded to present at the exhibition alongside world-class interactive artists Zach Lieberman, Karsten Schmidt, and the duo of Varvara Guljajeva & Mar Canet.
posted by divabat on Feb 6, 2014 - 2 comments

BUT I DIDN'T FREAKING TOUCH IT!!

Do not play this game. You will be dead in seconds. Did it get popular using sneaky tactics? Probably not. But do you want it to haunt your dreams? No, you don't. Stave off your existential despair in some other way. I repeat, do not play this game.
posted by cashman on Feb 3, 2014 - 116 comments

You're never too old to play with Legos.

Reminisce with a virtual Lego set. Make that house you always wanted to build but never had enough pieces for. Or just make another spaceship. [more inside]
posted by Defenestrator on Jan 29, 2014 - 27 comments

Security Sunday

Ars Technica reports on malicious extensions on the Chrome web browser, which install advertising-based malware that hijack links and inject ad content. Further speech recognition exploits (source) leave open the opportunity for malicious sites to record sound captured by the user's web browser without permission.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 26, 2014 - 30 comments

The Silicon Valley cartel

Mark Ames on Silicon Valley's conspiracy to drive down workers' wages:
In early 2005, as demand for Silicon Valley engineers began booming, Apple’s Steve Jobs sealed a secret and illegal pact with Google’s Eric Schmidt to artificially push their workers wages lower by agreeing not to recruit each other’s employees, sharing wage scale information, and punishing violators.... The secret wage-theft agreements between Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, Intuit, and Pixar (now owned by Disney) are described in court papers obtained by PandoDaily as “an overarching conspiracy” in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Clayton Antitrust Act....
[more inside]
posted by enn on Jan 24, 2014 - 95 comments

Going Mobile with Google

Google Tools for Travelers. (Glass + Wordlens. Voice Search. Now. Auto Awesome)
posted by storybored on Jan 23, 2014 - 24 comments

My game with Magnus Carlsen

My game with Magnus Carlson: On January 16, 2014, Magnus Carlsen, the newly crowned world chess champion and the highest rated player in history, paid a visit to Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA, to give a talk and play a ten board simultaneous exhibition.

Includes the annotated game. (via)
posted by starman on Jan 23, 2014 - 17 comments

What if Google was a Guy?

Everything you ask Google sounds a lot stupider when you actually ask Google.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jan 22, 2014 - 49 comments

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