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Transcript of secret meeting between Julian Assange and Eric Schmidt

On the 23 of June, 2011 a secret five hour meeting took place between WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who was under house arrest in rural UK at the time and Google CEO Eric Schmidt. We provide here a verbatim transcript of the majority of the meeting; a close reading, particularly of the latter half, is revealing.
[more inside]
posted by palbo on Apr 25, 2013 - 40 comments

Google Inactive Account Manager

Google has announced a new feature called Inactive Account Manager "that makes it easy to tell Google what you want done with your digital assets when you die or can no longer use your account."
posted by jedicus on Apr 12, 2013 - 57 comments

Road Trip!

Roll your own Google Street View Hyperlapse. via
posted by Casimir on Apr 9, 2013 - 29 comments

The day the irony detectors died...

Fairsearch (a group led by Microsoft, Oracle and Expedia) has filed a complaint [PDF] with the EU claiming that Google has a monopoly in the mobile market and is using its mobile position to force its other products on users.
posted by sodium lights the horizon on Apr 9, 2013 - 53 comments

This is what happens when you take the blue pill *and* the red pill.

Postcards From Google Earth: "I collect Google Earth images. I discovered them by accident, these particularly strange snapshots, where the illusion of a seamless and accurate representation of the Earth’s surface seems to break down. I was Google Earth-ing, when I noticed that a striking number of buildings looked like they were upside down." [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Apr 6, 2013 - 37 comments

Take a Left off WebKit onto Blink

Google is forking WebKit. WebKit was a fork of KHTML and now Google is creating a new fork called Blink. Opera will contribute to it and use it too. Vendor specific prefixes will no longer be supported.
posted by juiceCake on Apr 3, 2013 - 81 comments

Nothing is ungoogleable in Sweden

The Language Council of Sweden has been the semi-official arbiter of the Swedish language since World War II. It monitors "the development of spoken and written Swedish" and publishes a list of new words each year to ensure consistency of spelling and make sure that Swedish is a "complete language, i.e. [is] possible to use in all areas of society." This year, for the first time, the Council has taken a word off the list: ogooglebar, which literally meant "ungoogleable" but was defined as "a thing or person that does not produce relevant results when typed into a search engine." [more inside]
posted by Etrigan on Mar 26, 2013 - 43 comments

You Are What You See

Google Glasses are being tested by tech writers as we speak. But are they a good thing? The long awaited Project Glass is nearly here. There are articles about them here, here, and here among many others. But is it a good thing? Questions are being asked both about safety and about privacy. Everything good, bad and ugly about the online world is about to get more intense. Are you ready?
posted by BillW on Mar 25, 2013 - 218 comments

The Dreams Of Big Data

Does Big Data Mean The Demise Of The Expert - And Intuition? - "Data-driven decisions are poised to augment or overrule human judgment." What Is Big Data? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 21, 2013 - 73 comments

We used to have these things called books, and some told you where to go

Does BBC Worldwide's sale of Lonely Planet at an £80 million loss (after writing down its value by £67 million over 6 years), on top of Google's purchase of Frommer's last year, herald the end of travel guidebooks? [more inside]
posted by gottabefunky on Mar 20, 2013 - 52 comments

"Ouga Chaka Ouga!"

OMGif! [Wired] "On Tuesday, Google announced via Google+ that Image Search now has an “Animated” filter. That means that if you’re only searching for animated magic, you need never be bothered with a still image again. Finally that search for Jennifer Lawrence GIFs from the Academy Awards just got a whole lot easier."
posted by Fizz on Mar 20, 2013 - 31 comments

The Canon Drone

We've all seen it. The off-white UAV is seen side on, nose tilted slightly down, a stubby missile caught at the moment of launch beneath it, a blue and grey landscape of treeless mountains behind it. There's no motion blur and none of the markings on the aircraft have been obfuscated. It's a perfect shot. Except for one or two details. [more inside]
posted by mwhybark on Mar 19, 2013 - 56 comments

Go home, Fyodor, you're drunk.

Are your favorite writers using Google Docs? Probably. They're also bossy and irritable.
posted by Snarl Furillo on Mar 15, 2013 - 14 comments

Google Jabber Servers No Longer Federated; No Non-Google Servers

First, there was the closing of Google Reader. There was also the announcement that Google would only leave CalDAV open to whitelisted developers (no MeFi link, though it is briefly mentioned in the Google Illiterate discussion), forcing anyone else who wrote a calendaring application to migrate from the open CalDAV standard to Google's own Calendar API. Then there was the removal of advertisement blocking applications from Google Play. Now, Google is blocking invite requests to their Jabber service from non-Google Jabber servers. A Google customer user must send the request to the non-Google Jabber user. [more inside]
posted by Brian Puccio on Mar 15, 2013 - 79 comments

“Don't be …”

Google has removed Ad Blocking apps from their Play Store. AdAway is available on the open source Android repository F-Droid. AdBlock+ remains available from their own site.
posted by jeffburdges on Mar 14, 2013 - 129 comments

Google Illiterate

Google's beloved RSS aggregator, Google Reader will be powered down on July 1, 2013 (previously).
posted by gkhan on Mar 13, 2013 - 1091 comments

Don't panic.

Today would have been Douglas Adams' 61st birthday. Google is celebrating with an elaborate doodle. Neil Gaiman, who once wrote a companion book to the Hitchhiker's Guide, reminisces a little bit about the man here. Worth reading, if you haven't read it before, is the old lament by Richard Dawkins, a long-time friend of Adams. (Second thing on the page, not first; scroll down.)
posted by Rory Marinich on Mar 11, 2013 - 99 comments

VP8 Redux?

Google and MPEG LA come to an Agreement, putting to rest (for the most part in the current patent atmosphere) fears that VP8 isn't really royalty free.
posted by juiceCake on Mar 7, 2013 - 23 comments

"I never doubted that it was all going to work out."

A life well lived. On October 4, 1973, Josh Miele (4) was permanently blinded in an acid attack by his neighbor (pdf). 40 years later, Dr. Miele has worked for NASA on the Mars Rover project, he's helped develop "WearaBraille", a virtual Braille keyboard interface, and has a new project launching this month: the Descriptive Video Exchange (DVX), which will allow "sighted video viewers to seamlessly add audio description to DVDs as they watch." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 5, 2013 - 14 comments

No one will feed you as well as somebody who loves you

Alton Brown talks to Google about bow ties, trying to find recipes on Google vs. on the Food Network website, and trying to impress his daughter by blowing things up. (SLYT)
posted by Guy Smiley on Mar 3, 2013 - 16 comments

The future, but with monthly updates

I used Google Glass - "But what’s it actually like to have Glass on? To use it when you’re walking around? Well, it’s kind of awesome."
posted by unliteral on Feb 26, 2013 - 226 comments

We are GARGOYLES!

Google shows off Glass, their "augmented reality head-mounted display" with a video demonstrating several of its capabilities. And now, you can get one too, if you win their contest describing what you'd do with it. You'll also need $1500 and to pick it up in person in New York or California.
posted by grouse on Feb 20, 2013 - 174 comments

Bad, but not THAT bad.

Last month, we saw that Google Flu Trends was predicting doom for the U.S. Turns out, Google was wrong. [more inside]
posted by OHSnap on Feb 19, 2013 - 34 comments

Trekken the Canyon

As a follow-up to this post, Google has now launched its Grand Canyon street view imagery. (gallery) (promo video)
posted by LoopyG on Feb 6, 2013 - 10 comments

casualties of the info-war

The art project Street Ghosts turns specters of Google Street View into real life Street Art.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Feb 6, 2013 - 2 comments

Google Invades

Rebecca Solnit on how Silicon Valley corporations are transforming San Francisco: I weathered the dot-com boom of the late 1990s as an observer, but I sold my apartment to a Google engineer last year and ventured out into both the rental market (for the short term) and home buying market (for the long term) with confidence that my long standing in this city and respectable finances would open a path. That confidence got crushed fast. It turned out that the competition for any apartment in San Francisco was so intense that you had to respond to the listings – all on San Francisco-based Craigslist of course, the classifieds website that whittled away newspaper ad revenue nationally – within a few hours of their posting to receive a reply from the landlord or agency. The listings for both rentals and homes for sale often mentioned their proximity to the Google or Apple bus stops. [more inside]
posted by liketitanic on Jan 31, 2013 - 143 comments

Pangaea um?

Just how badly does the Mercator projection distort our planet?
posted by special-k on Jan 30, 2013 - 49 comments

Redesigning Google: How Larry Page Engineered a Beautiful Revolution

The new Google way is weird, but it's working
Something strange and remarkable started happening at Google immediately after Larry Page took full control as CEO in 2011: it started designing good-looking apps.
posted by andoatnp on Jan 24, 2013 - 79 comments

Google Ring?

If special hardware can crack all your passwords, if people have a hard time remembering them anyway, if people don't implement them in the first place, it is no wonder Google (with Yubico) is "declar[ing] war on the password." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 19, 2013 - 76 comments

Cold, apricot, relaxing satisfaction.

Fresh Prince of Belair run through Google Translate [SLYP]
posted by jaduncan on Jan 15, 2013 - 28 comments

Not THAT kind of virus.

Google uses searches for flu symptoms to track each year's strain's intensity and spread. In 2013, the US is basically doomed. [more inside]
posted by OHSnap on Jan 10, 2013 - 87 comments

So high, so low, so many things to know.

January 13, 2013 marks the 125th anniversary of the National Geographic Society. The Magazine is celebrating by taking a yearlong look at the past and future of exploration. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 8, 2013 - 10 comments

CES 2013

The International Consumer Electronics Show has been hosted in some form or fashion since 1967. But with the absence of Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft, journalists are asking if the show is still relevant.
posted by zabuni on Jan 8, 2013 - 74 comments

There's No Avoiding Google+

Google is challenging Facebook by using a controversial tactic: requiring people to use the Google+ social network. The result is that people who create an account to use Gmail, YouTube and other Google services—including the Zagat restaurant-review website—are also being set up with public Google+ pages that can be viewed by anyone online. ... The impetus comes from the top. Google Chief Executive Larry Page has sought more aggressive measures to get people to use Google+, two people familiar with the matter say. ... Some users of Google's services are startled to learn how far the integration can reach.
There's No Avoiding Google+ from the Wall Street Journal
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear on Jan 2, 2013 - 200 comments

Googlubglub

Google underwater
posted by twoleftfeet on Dec 19, 2012 - 20 comments

Autonomous cars and the law

Can autonomous vehicles navigate the law? This year has been full of big news about the progress of self-driving cars. They are currently street legal in three states and Google says that on a given day, they have a dozen autonomous cars on the road. This August, they passed 300,000 driver-hours. In Spain this summer, Volvo drove a convoy of three cars through 200 kilometers of desert highway with just one driver and a police escort. Cadillac's newest models park themselves. The writing, one might think, is on the wall. But objects in the media may be farther off than they appear.
posted by modernnomad on Dec 14, 2012 - 83 comments

Something there is that doesn't love a wall, that wants it down

"To the credit of today's social networks, they've brought in hundreds of millions of new participants [...] but they haven't shown the web itself the respect and care it deserves, as a medium which has enabled them to succeed. And they've now narrowed the possibilites of the web for an entire generation of users who don't realize how much more innovative and meaningful their experience could be." Anil Dash laments The Web We Lost, and offers some suggestions for moving forward.
posted by oulipian on Dec 13, 2012 - 74 comments

Our long international nightmare is over.

Google Maps App by Google for Apple's iOS is now available. It features turn-by-turn voice navigation and streetview. It's a welcome end to "Map-gate". [more inside]
posted by panaceanot on Dec 13, 2012 - 130 comments

The Best of Times, The Worst of TImes

Released today: the top Google searches of 2012. Also, the top Google searches in the UK. Hungry for more "Best of 2012" collections? Curious about "best of" versus "most popular"? There's much [more inside]
posted by misha on Dec 11, 2012 - 21 comments

Google circa 1960.

Google circa 1960.
posted by marxchivist on Dec 11, 2012 - 25 comments

Google's Lost Social Network

Google+ has been derided as a “virtual ghost town” and a “complete failure” unpopular even with Google employees. All of which has heightened the resentment shared by Reader fanatics. Today, they are a population dispossessed. Many have disappeared off the grid, while others struggle to rebuild communities that were, with a few keystrokes, deleted. All of them — the dental student in San Antonio, the academic librarian in Boston, the game developer in San Francisco — yearn for the scroll-tracked Shangri-La that was. They wonder why Google deep-sixed superlative features, years in the making, for an upstart social network, a Facebook clone. In the year past, the same question has been framed and phrased in a thousand different ways — why force an unproven social network on users at the expense of an organic one? [SLBF]
posted by chavenet on Dec 7, 2012 - 115 comments

Right, that's where you're eating your beet & feta salad.

Recent Instagram pictures mashed up with street view of surrounding location for any hashtag (default is the #christmas hashtag)
posted by special-k on Dec 1, 2012 - 29 comments

Everything is fleeting

"It feels strange to be active and highly visible on the Web for 15 years but it was only when I joined Facebook that someone from elementary school or high school ever contacted me." In which on Ev Williams's platform, Mr Haughey compares his experiences of Facebook and Twitter. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Dec 1, 2012 - 109 comments

Ethics++

Building machines with a conscience is a big job, and one that will require the coordinated efforts of philosophers, computer scientists, legislators, and lawyers.
posted by Obscure Reference on Nov 27, 2012 - 75 comments

Journalists vs. Bloggers

If you follow the usual crop of technology news sites, you will have read yesterday morning that Google had apparently acquired a little-known WiFi hotspot company for $400 million. This story spread with the help of the most popular (and most reputable) sites, like TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, The Next Web, and others. Only one small detail: the story wasn't actually true. [more inside]
posted by nickheer on Nov 27, 2012 - 54 comments

Are MeFiites......?

Google and Bing autocomplete what they think they know what you're thinking. Sometimes they get it wrong. "People who study online behavior also say the autocomplete feature reveals broader patterns, including indications that the questions people ask of search engines often veer into the sensitive and politically incorrect." previously
posted by Xurando on Nov 22, 2012 - 29 comments

Teleportation at the speed of download

Instant Google Street View. Type something (slowly) and teleport around the world.
posted by Sparx on Nov 21, 2012 - 50 comments

how now brown cow / how now / how now shall we live

is it t  /  is it true  /  is it too late to register to vote  /  is it time to break up  /  is it tuesday  Enjoy the algorithmically-generated autocompleted poignance of Google Poetics, or submit your own. [more inside]
posted by oulipian on Nov 11, 2012 - 24 comments

The Brief - A daily briefing of technology news worth caring about

NASA will send you an email or text alert when the International Space Station is visible from your area. IBM scientists have recently made significant advances in nanotechnology. A mathematician thought a poorly-encrypted headhunting email from Google was testing him, but he had actually discovered a major security hole. All of this found via The Brief: A Daily Briefing of Technology News Worth Caring About from MeFi's own nostrich. [via mefi projects]
posted by davidjmcgee on Nov 9, 2012 - 15 comments

Is my iPhone Changing my Brain?

What's Wrong With Online Reading, a slide presentation by Randy Connolly, argues that the relatively recent and increasingly popular approach to reading and learning - on computers, tablets and smartphones instead of traditional print - influences what and how we read, research and think, with disturbing consequences.
posted by Schadenfreudian on Nov 5, 2012 - 50 comments

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