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
Former Google diversity officer Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe promised the Tower Hamlets council "the first women’s museum in the UK" if they would approve a zoning change that let him add three storeys and an extra floor, but what he built was a Jack the Ripper "museum." Read the rest
After Donald Ryding, 58, suffered a heart attack, he told his wife Julie that he had quit smoking. He was proven a fibber though when Julie saw a Google Street View image of Donald sneaking a puff on their of their driveway in Merseyside, England. Read the rest
Adafruit Industries has been stripped of revenues from its Youtube channel after Rumblefish -- a notorious music-rights agency -- claimed to own the copyright on a public domain, taxpayer-funded rendition of "America the Beautiful." Read the rest
Under a crazy, ineffectual EU court ruling, people can petition Google and its rivals to de-index news articles from their European search-results. Read the rest
The default behavior of hotword, a new, black-box module in Chrome (and its free/open cousin, Chromium) causes it to silently switch on your computer's microphone and send whatever it hears to Google. Read the rest
In "Inceptionism," scientists at Google Research describe their work training neural nets with sets of images, then tweaking the "layers" of neural net nodes to produce weird outcomes. Read the rest
Google analyzed the "secret questions" used by its vast userbase and was not surprised to learn that they are mostly terrible.
In a blog post at the company's Online Security Blog, Elie Bursztein said that "secret questions are neither secure nor reliable enough to be used as a standalone account recovery mechanism."
"That’s because they suffer from a fundamental flaw," Bursztein wrote. "Their answers are either somewhat secure or easy to remember—but rarely both."
Here are some specific insights:
With a single guess, an attacker would have a 19.7% chance of guessing English-speaking users’ answers to the question
• "What is your favorite food?" (it was ‘pizza’, by the way) With ten guesses, an attacker would have a nearly 24% chance of guessing Arabic-speaking users’ answer to the question
• "What’s your first teacher’s name?" With ten guesses, an attacker would have a 21% chance of guessing Spanish-speaking users’ answers to the question,
• "What is your father’s middle name?" With ten guesses, an attacker would have a 39% chance of guessing Korean-speaking users’ answers to the question "What is your city of birth?" and a 43% chance of guessing their favorite food.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt, famous for weirdly off-kilter mockery of the privacy his company exploits for its billions, has been immortalized in shit.
Artist Katsu selected "Eric Shit" as the second in his series of portraits created using his own excrement. The first was of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Techcrunch's Kim-Mai Cutler interviewed Katsu, who explained that his process is born in a fascination with the artistic possibilities of human-produced materials…
… But it’s really about bio-data. These titans of the cloud, are like, basically in competition to control every bit of granular data about individuals. That’s what makes their companies so powerful. They understand that human data has this immense value and they’re shielding and hiding that from the public. Maybe feces is the last thing that they could possibly control.