Much has been written about how far Google intrudes into your online privacy. I notice this when I use my Gmail account and have small targeted advertising links at the top of the page. Occasionally they are useful links so I don’t mind the small loss of privacy. That’s all changed with the latest release of Google Earth and Picasa.
I recently mentioned Picasa for Mac as a fast photo viewer and intended to use it alongside Lightroom for browsing photo’s. Google earth has been updated to version 5 adding lots of interesting new features. Both of these apps tie in with the Google Software Updater which is a background task claiming to exist only to regularly check for software updates.
My objection here is a having a resource consuming process that is out of my control and providing a remote service with information I can’t see. Most Macintosh apps have an easily controlled update check that runs at a user configurable interval or on app startup. Even Apple’s Software Update can be turned off easily. Google give you no controll over the update app, and don’t even make it clear that the updater is being installed. Several sites including ArsTechnica and Wired have covered this story in detail so I won’t go into detail. It all comes down to Google’s attitude that ‘it’s in the EULA’ so they aren’t doing anything the user isn’t told about. And we all read EULA’s before installing software, don’t we? Read more…
Google has released a version of its Picasa photo editing/management for the Macintosh. Currently a Beta, Version 3 of the software is missing some features of the Windows and Linux versions but adds the ability to import from iPhoto. Most importantly, and unlike iPhoto, Picasa doesn’t store another copy of each photo you edit and works happily with an existing directory tree. This should help to keep the size of photo collections to a minimum, and also work better with other apps. I’ve been trying Adobe’s Lightroom V2 recently which also can work from an existing directory tree. Picasa runs very fast on my Hackintosh so will probably become the app of choice for quickly previewing and searching for Photo’s, while Lightroom will be used for editing.
Google wants to save the world
CEO Eric Schmidt lays out Google’s plan to break the US dependency on fossil fuel by 2030.
Apple says Psystar’s antitrust claims are deeply flawed
The Cupertino based company asks Judge to dismiss Psystar’s countersuit.
Digital download royalty rate stays at 9.1 cents
CRB keeps the rate at current level but songwriters are unhappy.
Internet users can do more to prevent Identity Theft
The National Cyber Security Alliance claims most Americans are not using antivirus, antispyware, and firewall software.
So who would have thought Google would launch a web browser? Just about everyone, and the puzzle is why it took so long. Now that Google’s Chrome is here I took a few minutes to reboot and have a play. It’s a Windows only experience for now, with the promise of Mac and Linux versions to follow.