Algorithmic cruelty: when Gmail adds your harasser to your speed-dial

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Inbox by Gmail combs through your email looking for frequent correspondents and puts the people who email you the most in a "speed dial" sidebar (that you can't edit) that puts their names and pictures front-and-center for you every time you go to your email. Read the rest

"Nerds getting owned by normals" in Oracle v Google

Sarah Jeong's covering the Oracle v. Google trial, whereby the two companies are fighting over Java, copyright and the difficulty of explaining things like APIs to "normals." Most interesting is how the trial reveals not only how completely alien "nerd subculture" is, but that normal people -- judges! juries! -- are surprisingly good at spotting and exposing Silicon Valley's hypocrisy and narcissism.

The nerds struggle to be understood. It doesn’t help that towards the end of his cross-examination by Oracle, Schwartz became snippier and snippier, answering the Oracle lead attorney’s questions with passive-aggressive hostility.

Schwartz seemed less upset about being called one of the worst CEOs in America, and more put off by the sheer indignity of being cross-examined by a man who didn’t know what a blog is—enough that he broke a 10-month long Twitter silence to snark about it.

In public! With billions on the line! During the trial! Shades of Matthew Keys -- an almost supernatural level of arrogance before the people who, literally, are there to judge you. Read the rest

More Google Earth anomalies

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Artist Clement Valla collects the most remarkable machine-vision nightmares and curiosities from Google Earth, a world whose parallels to our own become uncannier with each sweep of the satellites and Googlecars. [Previously. via] Read the rest

Google warns that Google.com hosts malware

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Google is pointing a finger at its own website, declaring it "partially unsafe" for web visitors. It's not clear if the report is one part of the sprawling company telling the truth about another part, a mistake, or a clever "googlebomb" of inbound links designed to trigger this result.

In any case, the warnings posted are delicious.

Some pages on this website install malware on visitors' computers.

Attackers on this site might try to trick you to download software or steal your information (for example passwords, messages, or credit card information).

Some pages on this website redirect visitors to dangerous websites that install malware on visitors' computers, including: 7b726aeb-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites.googlegroups.com, polnu4ewtan4iwki.ws, and 40d0dfd9-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites.googlegroups.com.

Dangerous websites have been sending visitors to this website, including: maeaflordapele.com, valeimaginar.blogspot.com, and bou7out.blogspot.com.

Read the rest

What sound does this animal make? Google just got better at answering that.

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Do a Google search for 'animal noises.' You should see a field up at the top of your search results that shows images of various animals, and audio samples of a noise each of them makes.

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Google reaches into customers' homes and bricks their gadgets

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Revolv is a home automation hub that Google acquired 17 months ago; yesterday, Google announced that as of May 15, it will killswitch all the Revolvs in the field and render them inert. Section 1201 of the DMCA -- the law that prohibits breaking DRM -- means that anyone who tries to make a third-party OS for Revolv faces felony charges and up to 5 years in prison. Read the rest

_applyChinaLocationShift: In China, national security means that all the maps are wrong

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Chinese law makes independent mapmaking a crime (you may not document "the shapes, sizes, space positions, attributes, etc. of man-made surface installations") and requires tech companies to randomly vary the locations of all landmarks by 100-500m. Read the rest

Google launches Project Shield, to protect news sites from DDoS attacks

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Insecure desktop operating systems (and even server/CMS vulnerabilities) has led to the creation of enormous, powerful botnets comprised of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of machines -- and thanks to the law of supply and demand, it's remarkably cheap and easy to rent time on a botnet and blast any site of your choosing off the Internet. Read the rest

Google Ideas think tank becomes Jigsaw, Alphabet's new technology incubator

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Google's Eric Schmidt today broke the news that the 'Google Ideas' thinktank will become a technology incubator to be called Jigsaw.

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Gmail will warn you when your correspondents use unencrypted mail transport

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A basic best-practice for email servers is to use TLS (Transport Layer Security) when they connect to one another, which guards against "man in the middle" attacks that would allow attackers to read or change emails while they travel between mail-servers. Read the rest

Superb investigative report on the fake locksmith scam

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If you've ever locked yourself out of your home and googled for a locksmith, you've seen that it's virtually impossible to reach a real local locksmith. Read the rest

Awesome tips for getting cheap airfares with Google Flights

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I'm a hardcore traveler and Google Flights is my tool of choice for figuring out my weird, complex, ever-changing plans. Read the rest

Google parent Alphabet surpasses Apple as 'world's most valuable company'

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With the release of its fourth-quarter earnings report today, Google parent company Alphabet became the world's most valuable company, and kicked Apple out of that coveted spot.

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Die Gstettensaga: a science fiction movie about the Google Wars

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Johannes writes, "'Die Gstettensaga: The Rise of Echsenfriedl' -- our award-winning feature-length post-apocalyptic agitprop nerd comedy extravaganza -- is finally online on Vimeo! Free (as in lunch)! Enjoy!" Read the rest

DoJ forced Google to turn over Jacob Appelbaum's email, then gagged Google

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Google's lawyers fought strenuously against the DoJ's demands for access to the Gmail account of Jacob Appelbaum, a journalist, activist and volunteer with the Wikileaks project; they fought even harder against the accompanying gag order, arguing that Appelbaum had the right to know what was going on and have a lawyer argue his case. Read the rest

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

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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 google.com

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

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