The Father of GNU Hates on ChromeOS, Cloud Computing

December 15, 2010 -

An article in The Guardian features the comments of Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, who has some ugly things to say about Google's new ChromeOS operating system. A few years ago, Stallman warned that making use of cloud-based computing was "worse than stupidity" because it put user data in the hands of those that operated the servers.

This week he is calling Google's ChromeOS a scheme to "push people into careless computing" by forcing them to save a minimum amount of data locally. He also says that he is deeply concerned because it takes private data and puts it out into the "cloud," which law enforcement agencies in the United States have easier access to:

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Google: 300,000 Android Phones Activated Daily

December 11, 2010 -

Google claims that 300,000 Android phones are activated every day. At least, that is what Andy Rubin, Google's vice president of engineering, claimed last night on his Twitter account - according to a Network World report. Why would he say that? Well, people do enjoy big numbers, particularly if they support and use your device, but it has importance for another reason: it shows that Android is beating Apple's iPhone. Apple claims that its daily activation number is 270,000.

Andrew Gomez of AndroidGuys points out that this is very important to Google.

"Does this mean that more Android phones are currently being purchased than iPhones?" asks Gomez. "Generally, iPhone activations are always brought up at Apple events and keynotes. It's going to be interesting to see how Apple will react to or counter Rubin's statement."

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Google Buys SocialDeck

August 31, 2010 -

Google has purchased social games company SocialDeck Inc., the latest in a series of strategic acquisitions and investments aimed at helping the world's #1 search engine break into the social networking space and compete with the likes of Facebook. The deal was announced via SocialDeck's website, but financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company has created a number of games for the iPhone, Blackberry and Facebook -- which makes it an even better fit for Google, who also has its hooks into the mobile phone market.

Last week Google snapped up Angstro, a Facebook app developer whose claim to fame is a program that finds new photos on Facebook and creates a real-time social address book for users. Add to that Google's ongoing talks with companies including Playdom, EA's Playfish and Zynga to bring their games to its future social network, and Google has what it hopes is the perfect storm to take the fight to Facebook.

While there is no denying that it has its work cut out for it, former combatants like Yahoo can attest to the fact that Google has a way of surprising everyone.

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Music Industry to Google: What is Unlawful Activity?

August 19, 2010 -

According to Politico’s Morning Tech blog, The RIAA, SoundExchange, BMI, The Recording Academy and nine other music groups have sent a letter to Eric Schmidt (Google's CEO) asking for more clarification on what it considers "lawful and unlawful activity on the Web." The question relates to Google and Verizon's proposals to the government on Net Neutrality which was released last week.

In a letter sent to Google yesterday, the groups asked for a more in-depth definition of activity, especially as it relates to "content rights." Here's an excerpt:

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The Daily Show on Google and Net Neutrality

August 18, 2010 -

While public and private interest groups alike have skewered Google’s apparent Net Neutrality pact with Verizon, now the search giant has fallen victim to an attack by Comedy Central’s The Daily Show

To sum up Jon Stewart’s take on the matter, Google has gone from stating that “Net Neutrality will allow new Googles and Amazons to form,” to “NET NEUTRALITY WILL ALLOW NEW GOOGLES AND AMAZONS TO FORM!”

More form Stewart, “Google doesn’t get to write laws! They just photograph and post where everybody lives and republish every book ever written and negotiate with the Chinese government while building floating data centers in the ocean.”

Stewart also has a little fun with the protestors who lined up at Google's headquarters to make their voice heard.

Still a little strange to see a former media darling get bashed in the press.

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Net Neutrality Groups Take Aim at Google HQ with Protests

August 13, 2010 -

Several consumer and political groups are taking aim at Google with plans to protest the number one search engine company's headquarters in Mountain View, California. The protests are in response to Google's and Verizon's recent proposals for "net neutrality," which many critics point out, is so riddled with loopholes for ISP and mobile phone companies that it is almost embarrassing.

Groups lining up to protest include MoveOn.org Civic Action, ColorofChange.org, Credo Action, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Free Press, among others. The groups say that this protest is to "urge the search-engine giant to live up to its corporate motto: 'Don't Be Evil,'" according to a statement distributed by Free Press. The rally will take place at 3:00 PM EST today in front of Google Headquarters, located at Amphitheatre Parkway and Charleston Road in Mountain View, California.

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Analyst: Games Reach Critical Significance Within Google

August 12, 2010 -

Google is serious about getting into the games business, if you believe Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian. In a recent note to investors Sebastian said that "games have gained critical significance within Google" attributing this significant interest mostly to the company's push for the Android mobile operating system. Sebastian drew these conclusions after attending Google's recent 'Think Gaming' private summit.

"We anticipate that the Android Market could over time eclipse the App Store, as eventually the sheer numbers of the market will pull developers to the platform," he said in his note.

Sebastian also said that he "felt" like Google might tweak its Checkout e-commerce solution for gaming purchases. If the rumors are true that Google is buying micro-transaction company Jambool, then this would make perfect sense. Google has yet to comment on this rumor. Another indicator may be the Chrome Web Store, due for release later this year. Recent previews of the Web store have revealed partnerships with PopCap, LucasArts and Unity.

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The Dark Side of Phone Apps

June 4, 2010 -

The Wall Street Journal looks into the "dark side of phone apps" in a new report about the lack of app vetting in Google's Android and Apple's iPhone app stores. While they don't cite too many examples, save some questionable banking apps that Apple banned, the paper solicits the opinions of nameless FBI and security professionals who are "concerned" about malicious software making its way into these stores and in turn on consumers' phones.

As more companies, government agencies and regular consumers use wireless devices to engage in commerce and share private information, the "bad guys" are finding new and creative ways to steal from them and profit from it.

The paper, speaking to "someone familiar with the matter," reports that the FBI's Cyber Division has begun working on these kinds of cases - specifically apps designed to compromise banking on cellphones, as well as mobile "malware" used for "espionage by foreign nations." The FBI has a standing policy that bars its employees from downloading apps on FBI-issued smartphones. The Air Force has a similar policy.

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Google Removes Android Tetris Clones

June 3, 2010 -

Google joins the BAN-wagon with Apple in removing Tetris-like games from its Android app store, according to Ars. The Tetris Company, which handles licensing for the popular franchise created by Alexei Pajitnov, has sent a DMCA takedown to Google, who in turn has eliminated all Teris-like games from its store.

35 Tetris-like games have been removed from the Android market - even though many of them didn't use any art or knock off names that might trick users into thinking the games were the "real deal."

Tetris Company's challenge to these games, according to ARS, is that they "infringe on the game's trade dress, which is protected under the Lanham Act" (see bitlaw.com for the actual law). Trade dress relates to the "likeness of a product" and deals with copy cat products that might be confused with the real product.

The official game created by EA sucks, says Ars. I'll take their word for it.

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Yahoo Selling Off Game Business?

July 31, 2009 -

paidContent is reporting that Yahoo may soon sell off its Yahoo Games unit in an effort to cut costs.  HotJobs, Yahoo Small Business and Yahoo Personals are already on the sell list.

Yahoo Games averages 19.2 million unique visits per month and partnerships with PopCap, Gogii Games and Big Fish have helped to create a portfolio of hundreds of games. Yahoo’s fantasy sports business would not be included in the fire sale as it is part of Yahoo Sports.

While Yahoo doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation, paidContent’s sources say two potential buyers have already come calling.  Who might be interested in acquiring Yahoo Games?  Speculation runs from IGN Entertainment to Best Buy and GameStop but MSN Games and AOL are seen as the best candidates.

Meanwhile, Microsoft and Yahoo have worked out a deal to merge their search engine businesses in a direct challenge to Google's dominance.

Via: GameDaily

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen...

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Google's Props to 25th Anniversary of Tetris a Snub to D-Day Vets?

June 8, 2009 -

Last week Google paid homage to the 25th anniversary of Tetris by rendering its familiar logo in Tetris-like blocks.

While the gaming community by and large appreciated Google's nod to the groundbreaking game created by Alexey Pajitnov, not everyone was so pleased. The Washington Times reports that some websites have criticized Google for recognizing Tetris while ignoring the 65th anniversary of D-Day. At the conservative NewsBusters, Warner Todd Huston wrote:

It's far more important to Google to celebrate the anniversary of the invention of the video game Tetris than to memorialize D-Day. It just warms the heart, doesn't it?

I have to say, though, that this is no departure for Google, a firm that finds it nearly impossible to post images celebrating any American holidays or important milestones in American history. So, what we have here is just one more example of Google's essentially anti-American policies.

At WorldNetDaily, Drew Zahn echoed the criticism:

Google has a history of ignoring major American patriotic and religious holidays, while honoring Remembrance Day in Australia, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom, the Chinese New Year, Valentine's Day, Halloween and other observances.

A Google spokesperson told the Washington Times:

[Google] special logos tend to be lighthearted and often scientific in nature.... We do not believe we can convey the appropriate somber tone through this medium to mark holidays like Memorial Day.

Via: GameCulture

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Google as Guilty as The Pirate Bay?

April 27, 2009 -

As the operators of The Pirate Bay prepare to appeal their recent conviction by Swedish court, everything is miscellaneous points out that those seeking BitTorrent files can just as easily use Google.

The site takes notice of ThePirateGoogle, a anonymously-created utility which can be used to hunt for torrents, whether public domain or otherwise:

The intention of this site is to demonstrate the double standard that was exemplified in the recent Pirate Bay Trial. Sites such as Google offer much the same functionality as The Pirate Bay and other Bit Torrent sites but are not targeted by media conglomerates such as the IFPI as they have the political and legal clout to defend themselves unlike these small independent sites.

But everything is miscellaneous acknowledges that this is not a simple argument:

Intent counts. The difference between the Heimlich maneuver and assault is intent, and that’s as it should be. ThePirateBay is intended to enable the sharing of copyrighted works... it’s disingenuous to say that the site is ethically the same as Google...

[On the other hand,] I don’t know what to do about copyright. It’s obviously spun out of control and needs to be pulled back in...

Via: boing boing

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Mass. Effect: Guv Talks Game Biz with Microsoft

February 4, 2009 -

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick's West Coast junket touched down in Redmond yesterday for talks with Microsoft.

Mass High Tech reports that Patrick (left), a Democrat, discussed the video game business with MS Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie.

While the Guv described his meeting with Ozzie as "very encouraging," the Microsoft exec apparently pulled no punches:

Ozzie suggested Massachusetts needs to reinvent its high-tech image.

“The famous Route 128 tech highway — people are thinking of that image as being in the past,” said Greg Bialecki, state undersecretary for business development, who accompanied Patrick on the trip. “How do we talk about a new conversation about what we are doing today?”

 

The [Massachusetts] regional gaming cluster already includes companies such as Turbine Inc., 2K Boston, Blue Fang Games LLC, Harmonix Music Systems Inc., Demiurge Studios, Tencent Holdings Limited, 38 Studios LLC, Mad Doc Software and Crate Entertainment...

 

Patrick said West Coast tech execs tell him Silicon valley has a greater “spirit of collaboration,” and “also the ability to start and fail and start again.” To keep entrepreneurs from heading west, Massachusetts will have to emulate that culture...

The Guv is on a mission to bring high tech companies - including game industry firms - to the Bay State. Patrick's other West Coast meetings this week include stops at Facebook, Google and Electronic Arts.

Google Confirms Ads for Online Games

October 8, 2008 -

Dean Takahashi reports in VentureBeat that Google will begin offering a service that will place ads into online games.

The search giant's beta launch of AdSense for Games will initially target Flash games. Takahashi cites figures showing that 200 million games of this type are played online each month. Sony Pictures, Sprint and eSurance are among advertisers participating in the rollout.

Game publisher Konami is on board and will reportedly publish Flash versions of Frogger, Track and Field and Dance Dance Revolution with Google ads included.

Where does Google go from here? Not surprisingly, Takahashi sees further expansion:

Google’s entry into Flash web games is likely just the first step. After this, you can expect to see the company move into PC downloadable games, console games, and then mobile games. Rivals in those markets include NeoEdge Networks, Microsoft’s Massive, Double Fusion, IGA Worldwide.

 

This is one more ad market where Google and Microsoft can duel... The Yankee Group predicts the market will be worth $971.3 million by 2011. Proponents of in-game ads believe that gamers will embrace them because the ads can be integrated into storylines or environments. You can, for instance, put an ad into a billboard inside a game. That ad can change every time the user passes by the billboard. Of course, it’s hard to do that in genres such as fantasy games.

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Matthew WilsonSF have to build upwards they have natural growth limits. they can not grow outwards. ps growing outwards is terable just look at Orlando or Austin for that.04/16/2014 - 4:15pm
ZippyDSMleeIf they built upward then it would becoem like every other place making it worthless, if they don't build upward they will price people out making it worthless, what they need to do is a mix of things not just one exstreme or another.04/16/2014 - 4:00pm
Matthew Wilsonyou know the problem in SF was not the free market going wrong right? it was government distortion. by not allowing tall buildings to be build they limited supply. that is not free market.04/16/2014 - 3:48pm
ZippyDSMleeOh gaaa the free market is a lie as its currently leading them to no one living there becuse they can not afford it makign it worthless.04/16/2014 - 3:24pm
Matthew WilsonIf you have not read http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/introducing-steam-gauge-ars-reveals-steams-most-popular-games/ you should. It is a bit stats heavy, but worth the read.04/16/2014 - 2:04pm
Matthew Wilsonthe issue is when is doesn't work it can screw over millions in new york city's case. more often than not it is better to let the free market run its course without market distortion.04/16/2014 - 9:36am
NeenekoTrue, and overdone stagnation is a problem. It is a tricky balance. It does not help that when it does work, no one notices. Most people here have benifited from rent controls and not even realized it.04/16/2014 - 9:23am
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2014/04/15/riaa_files_civil_suit_against_megaupload04/16/2014 - 8:48am
ZippyDSMleeEither way you get stagnation as people can not afford the prices they set.04/16/2014 - 8:47am
Neenekowell, specifically it helps people already living there and hurts people who want to live there instead. As for 'way more hurt', majorities generally need less legal protection. yes it hurt more people then it helped, it was written for a minority04/16/2014 - 8:30am
MaskedPixelantehttp://torrentfreak.com/square-enix-drm-boosts-profits-and-its-here-to-stay-140415/ Square proves how incredibly out of touch they are by saying that DRM is the way of the future, and is here to stay.04/16/2014 - 8:29am
james_fudgeUnwinnable Weekly Telethon playing Metal Gear http://www.twitch.tv/rainydayletsplay04/16/2014 - 8:06am
ConsterTo be fair, there's so little left of the middle class that those numbers are skewing.04/16/2014 - 7:42am
Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
 

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