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]
The Google I/O Conference, currently streaming live, has highlighted a diverse series of technological achievements: the full launch of Google Music (currently limited to US residents) Yeoman, a client-side web development stack, Chrome (profiled in a charming video) now running on iPhone and iPad, and a demo of Google Glass while skydiving. The conference has also updated this excellent interactive visual deep dive of the history of the web and browser technologies.
The logical conclusion of our relationship to computers: expectantly to type “what is the meaning of my life” into Google.
It’s for your own good—that is Google’s cherished belief. If we want the best possible search results, and if we want advertisements suited to our needs and desires, we must let them into our souls. James Gleick writes about 'How Google Dominates Us' for the New York Review of Books. [more inside]
Andrew Norman Wilson was fired from his job at Google for
investigating the working conditions of yellow badge employees misusing company equipment: [more inside]
Cory Doctorow's new science fiction story collection, With A Little Help, is available in text and audio. The stories range from an order of datamining monks to Google gone terrible wrong, and the readers include Neil Gaiman, Mur Lafferty, Mary Robinette Kowal and Wil Wheaton. The introduction is written by Jonathan Coulton.
Google's Doodle-4-Google program, where kids can design a variation of the company's homepage logo, is creating a bit of stir this year with the requirement of the child's social security number. [more inside]
Google now provides a map of government requests to access user information or take down material from Google and YouTube. This is being heralded as a big step towards transparency unmatched by any similar company, and Google explains how the system works. The US requests information about 20 times a day (including subpoenas and search warrants from local and state governments), but Brazil leads with the most take-down and data requests, because of Orkut's popularity there.