Google steps up to defend fair use, will fund Youtubers' legal defenses


After years of missteps, blunders and disasters in which Youtube users have been censored through spurious copyright claims or had their accounts deleted altogether, Google has announced an amazing, user-friendly new initiative though which it will fund the legal defense of Youtube creators who are censored by bad-faith copyright infringement claims. Read the rest

Seriously, try "view source" on


This week's XKCD has a hell of an Easter Egg, and it's not even in the tooltip. Read the rest

Google releases critical AI program under a free/open license


Tensorflow, a sophisticated machine learning program that underpins Google Translate, speech recognition, image recognition and many other critical Google services, is now available under an Apache license, one of the least restrictive free/open licenses. Read the rest

Predatory lenders trick Google into serving ads to desperate, broke searchers


Google bans ads by predatory lenders who promise foreclosure prevention and high-rate short-term loans, but they do allow payday loan ads; when you search for "need rent money fast," the predatory lenders target you with payday loan ads that collect your information and turn it into a lead for a high-pressure sales-call from one of Google's shitlisted usurers. Read the rest

Chrome won't trust Symantec-backed SSL as of Jun 1 unless they account for bogus certs


In September, Google caught Symantec issuing a fake cryptographic certificate that could have been used to seamlessly intercept encrypted traffic. Symantec is one of the participants in Certificate Transparency, through which all new certificates issued and seen in the wild are logged to append-only, cryptographically provable logs, which create irrefutable audit trails for any bogus certs issued/discovered. Read the rest

Youtube's pay TV service makes video-creators a deal they literally can't refuse


As part of the launch of Youtube Red, the company's new porny-sounding ad-free pay TV service, top creators are being told that they must allow their work into the paywalled/ad free zone, or be excluded from Youtube altogether. Noncommercial Youtube creators get a choice (for now). Apparently, the punishment for making Youtube into a success is losing the right to choose how to make money off your stuff. Read the rest

The new Nexus phones: beautiful, secure, and a shot across the bow


Dan Gillmor has been playing with Google's new Nexus phones, the humungous 6P phablet and the smaller 5X, and he's written a shrewd and thorough review of what these phones do -- and more importantly, what they mean. Read the rest

Newly disclosed Android bugs affect all devices


The newly released bugs are part of the Stagefright family of vulnerabilities, disclosed by Zimperium Zlabs. Read the rest

Symantec caught issuing rogue certificates


Your browser trusts SSL certificates from hundreds of "Certificate Authorities," each of which is supposed to exercise the utmost caution before issuing them -- a rogue cert would allow a criminal or a government to act as a man-in-the-middle between you and your bank, email provider, or employer, undetectably intercepting communications that you believed to be secure. Read the rest

How Google's latest redesign shrank its logo from 2,145 bytes to only 305

Bit conservation! The redesign makes more sense now. Read the rest

Why Google wants to look simpler

google new

The new logo, announced yesterday, is undoubtedly more pleasant and contemporary than the old one. Margaret Rhodes writes that the company wants you to think that it is your go-everywhere friend.

Google needs to be able to transform its brand at will, because its canon of products is expanding rapidly. It’s not just that users now engage with the company on a “constellation of devices,” as the authors of the logo announcement page put it. As we saw at the I/O developer conference, Google is pushing to seamlessly guide users from one product to the next, with things like Google Now on Tap and voice search as the connective tissue that will bring it all together. For that to work, Google needs a crisp visual system. The new design helps, Clinton says, because the typeface is based largely on circles.

Glenn Fleishman writes that these simple scalable logos are simply bland.

At first glance, it seemed exceedingly bland to me; the longer I look at it and a new font that's related, the more I think they made a series of good choices. It's still bland, but it's a well-thought-out bland that makes sense for their company.

Read the rest

Google to penalize sites for popup ads touting apps

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Ever been to a website, and just when you settle into the second or third sentence, the screen darkens subtly and a giant popup ad covers everything begging you to Get The App? Google hates them too. Read the rest

Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and others join to create royalty-free video codecs for all

The group plans to develop a new generation of royalty-free open source digital media formats for video, audio, and still images.

In Google's new logo, serifs a no-go

It's all about looking better on increasingly smaller devices.

Boston's WGBH initiates careless, groundless legal action against Fedflix project

Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes, "I got mugged by a bunch of Boston hooligans. Readers of Boing Boing may be familiar with my FedFlix project which has resulted in 6,000 government videos getting posted to YouTube and the Internet Archive." Read the rest

Google covertly lobbied against net neutrality in India

The company emailed members of the Government Relations committee of the Indian ISP association, asking them to support Facebook's program, which delivers "a poor Internet for poor people." Read the rest

New Google robot named Atlas is obviously drunk

Atlas the robot recently walked in the woods for the first time. From the looks of that bot-wobble, it looks like he packed his forest flask.

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