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Posts Tagged ‘google’

Removing Google Software Update

February 15, 2009 5 comments

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…

Picasa for Mac released

January 6, 2009 Leave a comment

picasaGoogle 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.

iPod/iPhone firmware 2.2 released

November 21, 2008 Leave a comment

The latest update to Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch devices is now available through iTunes, along with an iTunes update to 8.0.2. New features of the iPhone update include Google streetview, podcast downloads and updated Mail and Safari. The iPod Touch update does not include the streetview feature.

As usual the iPhone Dev Team are recommending you delay upgrading to v2.2 through iTunes until their Pwnage and QuickPwn tools are updated to support the new release. It’s probably worth holding off on the iTunes update as well since Apple appear to be increasing their jailbreak thwarting measures recently. I’m hoping that once a jailbreak for v2.2 is released it will include an unlock for iPod Touch streetview.

Further details of what’s new in the v2.2 update can be found at Techradar, DownloadSquad, AppleInsider and Macrumors.

News for Friday 3rd October

October 3, 2008 Leave a comment

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.

Nokia launches first touch screen phone
5800 Xpress Music phone runs Series 60 and supports Adobe’s Flash. Video’s here.

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.

Android arrives with the T-Mobile G1

September 23, 2008 Leave a comment

There’s a couple of big launches today, and the first is the T-Mobile G1. This is the debut device based on Google’s Android software platform, an open platform that aims to be offered by a range of manufacturers and networks. There are lots of positive comments about the device at the moment so I’m looking forward to having a try at some point. The main competition for the G1 appears to be the iPhone, in light of this there’s a lot of things about the phone that don’t make much sense.

  • The applications the phone offers work best on a 3G network, and from the T-Mobile G1 site that’s not a huge amount of America. The UK has pretty patchy coverage outside of major cities so how well will a device that needs 3G work?
  • The G1 will offer Amazon’s DRM free music store with 6 million songs, but it doesn’t have a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. You have to use an adaptor in the proprietary USB socket.
  • The Phone misses a major opportunity to better the iPhone by not offering Video Recording, stereo bluetooth or a multi-touch screen.
  • For a new device that’s competing with the iPhone, the G1 is just ugly. Apple have a knack of making their products look and feel good. The G1 looks like a 10 year old lump of plastic.
  • T-Mobile are allowing 1Gb of data usage per billing cycle (I take it that’s a month) after which the data rate drops to 50Kbps. That’s unusable for a device that needs 3G to work well.

The ultimate test of the Android platform will be the sales figures. Despite the flaws of the iPhone 3G it’s still sold very well so this could be an interesting battle.

Google Chrome first impressions

September 3, 2008 2 comments

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.

Read more…