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Posts Tagged ‘Motto’

Google wants to listen to your phone calls to promote ads

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Google is attempting to file a patent that would thrust smartphone users into Orwell’s “1984.” TheNextWeb reported on Wednesday that the search giant is looking to patent a technology that can analyze the background noise during mobile phone calls and then serve up advertisements based on the environmental conditions Google hears. In short, the company’s famous “don’t be evil” motto may soon evolve into “we are going to listen to your phone calls to make money.” One example of Google’s proposed technology would recognize the background noise made by rain when a user makes a phone call in inclement weather, and then serve an advertisement for umbrellas. In addition, the system might also analyze background noise while users take photos and videos to serve up similar targeted ads. Of course there is no reason to sound the alarms just yet, as technologies described in patents often don’t see the light of day.

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Google encrypts search for users, paranoiacs unsure how to respond

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

When Al Gore first created the internet (hard wink, everybody), we’re pretty sure the plan was for Big Brother to collect your data, not Silicon Valley titans. Now Google, the company that mainly tends the gates to the web’s vast array of information, is stepping up to its “Do No Evil” motto, and making encrypted search the norm — for account users. While Gmail’s long had SSL set as a default login, good ol’ Joe Public’s had to specifically access Mountain View’s dedicated encrypted search page for anonymous surfing privileges. No longer, as Gmail users signed in to Goog’s suite of web services will be automatically redirected to https://www.google.com where their searches and results will be stripped of identifiable data. The protection doesn’t extend out to web advertisements, so those specific clicks will deliver the same metric-relevant info that helps marketers optimize their hyper-targeting. Any of that put you conspiracy theorists at ease? Good, now you can open those curtains again.

Google encrypts search for users, paranoiacs unsure how to respond originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 19 Oct 2011 13:41:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) first impressions

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

I have spent the past week or so playing with a Samsung Focus preloaded with the final build of Windows Phone 7.5, previously codenamed Mango. I have always appreciated what Windows Phone has to offer: a clean and intuitive user interface that works well, to put it simply. Windows Phone originally shipped lacking a few features, though. The NoDo update, for example, added copy and paste but the operating system still felt like it was lacking. Windows Phone 7.5 adopts Microsoft’s motto to “put people first,” and it does a fairly good job of that. There are hundreds of changes in Mango and in this hands-on look, I highlight a few changes that stood out to me during my time with the OS.

Groups and Chat integration

Microsoft’s focus with Windows Phone 7.5 was putting your friends and family up close. The SMS inbox now automatically integrates with Facebook Chat and Windows Live Messenger, allowing you to stay connected seamlessly. I asked Microsoft’s Windows Phone product manager Greg Sullivan if support for Google Chat and other clients, such as AIM, is in the works. He said they were not but that the groundwork is there, so if a third-party developer wants to create an app that integrates those chat clients, it can be done.

I loved the photo and social network integration when I first played with Windows Phone. It meant I could simply open up the photo app to see the latest images from my friends on Facebook. Windows Phone 7.5 takes that idea a step further and allows you to create “Groups.” This feature let me view updates that were posted by a select group of people, like my family or a subset of friends. It worked well and allowed me to quickly sort through the fluff for what I really care about.

App Connect

App Connect stood out as an especially compelling new feature in Windows Phone 7.5.  If, for example, you are planning to go to the movies and you use your Windows Phone to search for a nearby theater, the phone will automatically pull in any movie-related applications that are installed and query them for results.

I installed Flixter to test this functionality. After performing a quick search, I noticed that the movie “Killer Elite” was playing nearby. I tapped the movie name and the phone brought up showtimes and information about the show. However, swiping to the right also revealed a new “Apps” area that listed “Movies by Flixster” and other related programs. When I opened Flixter it automatically searched and found “Killer Elite,” and then provided reviews and other information.

TellMe text-to-speech

TellMe technology now lets you search the web or compose a text message using just your voice. The search option accepts voice commands, and it worked really well while I was driving in New Jersey and needed to quickly find a nearby Dunkin Donuts. In addition, the SMS voice-to-text functionality was nearly flawless. I spoke “Testing voice commands using text messages,” and it correctly typed out my message for me, allowing me to safely text my friends and family without having to divert my eyes from the road.

IE 9

Internet Explorer 9 worked very well and I love that Microsoft decided to include the search bar at the bottom of the screen instead of the top; it makes much more sense this way on a mobile device where your thumbs are always near the bottom of the display. Web sites looked great and were smooth thanks for support for hardware-accelerated graphics and a new JavaScript engine, but Windows Phone 7.5 still does not support Flash content. Of course, that’s certainly not a deal-breaker.

Windows Phone 7.5 Apps

Windows phone 7.5 enables apps to take advantage of a number of new features. Those developed for Windows Mango can be paired with App Connect for search integration, are capable of multitasking for quickly switching between apps (simply hold the back button to activate), support for double-sided and multiple Live Tiles and more.

Weather Live for example, a $1.99 Weather application that has been updated with Mango support, allows users to create multiple Live Tiles for different weather locations. I was able to easily pin weather information for New Jersey and New York to my home screen for quick at-a-glance notifications.

There are plenty of other Windows Phone 7.5 applications that take advantage of new Live Tile features. FourSquare, for example, shows the leaderboard for check-ins. I’m excited to see how other applications begin to take advantage of the advanced options.

Wrap-up

When I sat down with Microsoft’s Windows Phone product manager Greg Sullivan last week, he told me that Windows Phone 7.5 still actually has the build number “Windows Phone 7.1,” but that there were so many changes it couldn’t simply be a single iteration upgrade. I agree. Windows Phone 7.5 adds so many features that it would take pages and pages of text for me to cover them all; and each one makes the platform more user friendly and fun to use.

Microsoft and its Windows Phone partners, which now includes Nokia, have big plans for the platform moving forward. The company and its carrier partners are currently training in-store employees to use and assist customers with devices in an attempt to boost sales. We’re also expecting gorgeous new hardware from HTC, Samsung and Nokia in the coming months.

Windows Phone 7.5 is definitely a step in the right direction and I’m excited to watch the platform as it progresses even further. If you already own a Windows Phone device, Microsoft has already begun rolling Mango out to various devices.

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Android chief Andy Rubin tackles open source qualms, says Honeycomb isn’t ‘one size fits all’

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Google got a lot of flak for withholding the Android 3.0 source code, and plenty more when Businessweek sources claimed the company had set aside its open stance to dictate from a throne, but today the man who would allegedly sit atop the royal seat says it isn’t so. Andy Rubin, the man in charge of Android, says that “there are no lock-downs or restrictions against customizing UIs” nor “any efforts to standardize the platform on any single chipset architecture” as have often been rumored before, and that when Honeycomb is finally ready for phones, Google will indeed release its source code. Overall, he claims that Android’s position when it comes to open source hasn’t changed since day one — which is nice for those who would like to believe that Google’s still sticking to its motto — but that’s not likely to appease companies cut out of the loop simply because they weren’t part of the early adopter club. If Google’s methods will reduce fragmentation, though, who are we to judge?

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Android chief Andy Rubin tackles open source qualms, says Honeycomb isn’t ‘one size fits all’ originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 06 Apr 2011 22:13:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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64GB Zune HD launching April 12th for $350, current models reduced $20

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Let’s just be nice and feign surprise, okay? Good. With that out of the way, Microsoft has announced a 64GB version of Zune HD, due out April 12th via the Zune online store (and later via other retailers) with a handful of color options and a strapping $349.99 price tag. Not to be outdone, the 16GB and 32GB will each receive a $20 cut on the MSRP, to $200 and $270, respectively — whatever Amazon and Newegg slash beyond that is up to them. It seems “as soon as possible” is the motto for when the price drop is taking place, so if your favorite online / brick-and-mortar retailer isn’t yet honoring the extra Andrew Jackson in your pocket, have patience. So now we’re left with a v4.5 firmware release date as the remaining piece in this puzzle, but Microsoft promises to solve that riddle wrapped in an enigma “in the coming days.” Right. Press release after the break.

Continue reading 64GB Zune HD launching April 12th for $350, current models reduced $20

64GB Zune HD launching April 12th for $350, current models reduced $20 originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Mar 2010 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Maybe they don’t hate each other?

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Jobs-Schmidt

There has been quite a bit of noise around the purported relationship, or lack thereof, between Apple CEO Steven P. Jobs and Google CEO Eric E. Schmidt. The reported “feud” is based on a series of events — namely Google releasing a phone OS, Schmidt stepping down from Apple’s board, and Jobs calling Google’s motto “bullshit” — but it has yet to impact any services or products the two companies offer. Apple still bundles its iPhone OS with Google as the default search provider, as well as the “Google Maps” program, and Google still develops Google Earth, Maps, Search, etc. for the iPhone platform. The alleged tiff has led to some great cartoons though; take this Daniel Adel, New York Times offering:

Jobs_Schmidt_Matrix

As fun as it has been to wind up, a few images captured by a Gizmodo reader imply that perhaps we in the media should take it down a few notches. The pictures show Schmidt and Jobs having a cup of coffee, in public, engaged in civil discourse. The Giz article has a few “our tipster heard” quotes, but we’ll let you hit up said article for all the speculation. One thing we do know: the net worth sitting around that little cafe table is roughly $9.8 billion.

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Steve Jobs disses Adobe and calls BS on Google

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Picture 1

If you had any doubts about Steve Jobs’ confidence and convictions after returning to Apple from his sick leave, it’s time you leave those at the door. The revered CEO announced a hotly anticipated device last week and followed up by burning the competition. On Google, Steve Jobs said that its motto “Don’t be evil” is bullshit (Steve’s words, not ours). Clearly, Steve-o isn’t phased by the Nexus One while he boasts the three billion apps sold from the Apple app store. Regarding Adobe, Steve apparently went on to say they’re lazy and are squandering so much potential. Wow. And Flash? According to Steve, no one will be using Flash in the future; it’s going to be all about HTML5.

Is Steve Jobs’ boisterous attitude completely without warrant? Or is he just telling it like it is? Let us know your thoughts.

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CE-Oh no he didn’t! Part XLV: Symbian’s Lee Williams rips into Android, implies Google is evil (video)

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Strap yourselves in, folks, we’re about to launch the Mudslinger 3000 again and figure out if any of it sticks. Lee Williams of Symbian starts off with a few attack volleys relating to Google’s “fragmentation” of UI elements, and the resultant closed APIs being a nightmare to code for. With so many divergent UI elements and styles, he argues, developers would suffer, and the consequence would be a less vibrant app ecosystem. His major gripe with Google’s mobile OS, though, has to do with the pervasive “cookie-ing” of customers, which raises the specter of privacy concerns. When asked directly by our buddy Om Malik whether he considers Android “more evil” than Apple’s iPhone OS, Williams replied:

“I don’t view Apple as evil, they’re just greedy… Google, come on! When you have to say in your motto that we’re not evil, right away the first question in my mind is, ‘why do you have to tell me that?’”

All this must be tempered by the knowledge that Android is set to overtake large swathes of the mobile OS space, and some retaliatory trash talking is probably to be expected from the incumbent smartphone leader. Om does ask another sage question, in querying why Williams thinks companies are making such large investments into Android, and you’ll find the answer to that and much more in the video past the break.

[Via MobileTechWorld; Thanks, fido]

Read – Lee Williams interview with GigaOM
Read – New York Times: ‘Big Cellphone Makers Shifting to Android System’
Read – PCWorld: ‘Android, Symbian Will Own Smartphones in 2012′

Continue reading CE-Oh no he didn’t! Part XLV: Symbian’s Lee Williams rips into Android, implies Google is evil (video)

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CE-Oh no he didn’t! Part XLV: Symbian’s Lee Williams rips into Android, implies Google is evil (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 26 Oct 2009 07:06:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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