Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Android

Report: Google Will Go In Big For VR Hardware This Year 29

The Financial Times reports that Google isn't going to let the VR hardware wars fall to the likes of Samsung and Oculus; instead, it's working on a (cardboard-free) VR headset of its own, to be released in conjunction with Android VR software intended not only to make Android more VR friendly in general but specifically to help developers reduce nausea-inducing lag. The report doesn't quite come out of the blue, considering that Google has shipped more than 5 million of its own Cardboard viewer already, and has several projects dealing with VR infrastructure, either directly (like Jump) or indrectly (like Project Tango). Google (or Alphabet) has proven itself a hardware behemoth, not just the "search giant" it's so often called in news stories, and of late seems to be more interested in making its footprint in hardware a bit firmer.
Google

Google To Take 'Apple-Like' Control Over Nexus Phones (droid-life.com) 179

Soulskill writes: According to a (paywalled) report in The Information, Google CEO Sundar Pichai wants the company to take greater control over development of their Nexus smartphones. When producing Nexus phones, Google has always partnered with manufacturers, like Samsung, LG, and HTC, who actually built the devices. Rather than creating a true revenue stream, Google's main goal has been to provide a reference for what Android can be like without interference from carriers and manufacturers. (For example, many users are frustrated by Samsung's TouchWiz skin, as well as the bloatware resulting from deals with carriers.

But now, Google appears to want more control. The report indicates Google wants to do a better job of competing throughout the market. They want to compete with Apple on the high end, but also seem concerned that manufacturers haven't put enough effort into quality budget phones. The article at Droid-Life argues, "We all know that Nexus phones will never be household items until Google puts some marketing dollars behind them. Will a top-to-bottom approach finally push them to do that?"

Spam

Ask Slashdot: Why Are Major Companies Exiting the Spam Filtering Business? (slashdot.org) 244

broswell writes: For years we used Postini for spam filtering. Google bought Postini in 2007, operated it for 5 years and then began shutting it down. Then we moved to MX Logic. McAfee bought MX Logic, and McAfee was purchased by Intel. Now Intel is shutting down the service. Neither company chose to raise prices, or spin off the division. Anyone want to speculate on the reasons?
Security

Google Will Soon Let You Know By Default When Websites Are Unencrypted (softpedia.com) 216

An anonymous reader writes: Permanent changes are planned for future Google Chrome releases, which will add a big shiny red cross in the URL bar if the website you're accessing is not using HTTPS. Google says it is planning to add this to Chrome by the end of 2016, after one of its developers proposed the idea back in December 2014. Many have argued that the web is predominantly unencrypted, so they're displaying a persistent and ambiguous error message for a large portion of the Internet. Since unencrypted content is not an error state, the Chrome team should use alternate iconography, because the default error message this will just confuse average people, and it will encourage error blindness.
Google

Google Testing Project Loon: Concerns Are Without Factual Basis (thestack.com) 78

An anonymous reader writes: In a filing submitted to the FCC, Google has stated that while concerns for health and environmental risks posed by Project Loon testing were 'genuinely held,' 'there is no factual basis for them.' Google's filing attempts to address a wide range of complaints, from environmental concerns related to increased exposure to RF and microwave radiation, to concerns for loss of control and crashes of the balloons themselves. First, it states that its proposed testing poses no health or environmental risks, and is all well within the standards of experimentation that the FCC regularly approves. It also pledges to avoid interference with any other users of the proposed bandwidth, by collocating transmitters on shared platforms and sharing information kept current daily by an FCC-approved third party database manager.
Youtube

Why I'm a Defender of YouTube (vortex.com) 138

Lauren Weinstein writes: In a time of fascist politicians spouting simplistic slogans about race, religion, terrorism, and censorship, along with whatever other pandering platitudes they believe will win them votes, prestige, power, and control — it's worth remembering how much good the Internet brings us, and how much poorer we'd all be in so many ways for the shackling of Internet services like YouTube, in the name of such self-serving proclamations and damaging false solutions.
Displays

Google May Be Developing Consumer Virtual Reality Hardware (roadtovr.com) 27

An anonymous reader writes: Google's 'Cardboard' virtual reality initiative has put low-cost smartphone VR viewers in the hands of millions, but the experience provided by these simple phone holders doesn't compare with dedicated mobile VR hardware like Samsung's Gear VR. Now it seems that Google may be ready to move from Cardboard viewers to dedicated VR hardware. Four new full-time job listings at the company's Mountain View, CA headquarters seek candidates for the company's virtual reality group who are experienced with designing and manufacturing 'high-volume' consumer electronics devices. Road to VR suggests that Google could be creating a mobile VR headset under its flagship Nexus brand. The postings come just as the company's Clay Bavor dropped other responsibilities to fully dedicate his time as Google's VP of Virtual Reality.
Google

For Data Centers, Google Likes the Southeast (datacenterfrontier.com) 63

1sockchuck writes: With new construction projects underway in Alabama and Tennessee, Google will soon have 5 of its 8 company-built U.S. data center campuses located in the Southeast. The strategy is unique among major cloud players, who typically have server farms on each coast, plus one in the heartland. Is Google's focus on the Southeast a leading indicator of future data center development in the region? Or is it simply a case of a savvy player unearthing unique retrofit opportunities that may not work for other cloud builders?
Advertising

Google Says It Killed 780 Million 'Bad Ads' In 2015 (cio.com) 92

itwbennett writes: According to a new Google report, the search giant disabled more than 780 million "bad ads," including include ads for counterfeit products, misleading or unapproved pharmaceuticals, weight loss scams, phishing ploys, unwanted software and "trick-to-click" cons, globally last year. This marks a 49 percent increase over 2014. For perspective, it would take an individual nearly 25 years to look at the 780 million ads Google removed last year for just one second each, according to Google. If the trend continues, Google's team of more than 1,000 staffers dedicated to killing spam will be even busier in 2016, and they could disable more than a billion junky ads.
Businesses

Google Agrees To Pay 130M UK Pounds (~ $185M) In Back Taxes (telegraph.co.uk) 87

whoever57 writes: Google UK has come to an agreement with HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) under which it will recognize a larger share of its UK sales in the UK, instead of funnelling them through the Republic of Ireland. In addition, Google will pay 130M UK Pounds in back taxes representing tax on sales since 2005.
Bug

Nest Thermostat Bug Leaves Owners Without Heating (thestack.com) 432

An anonymous reader writes: Google-owned smart homeware company Nest has asked users to reset their connected thermostats after a software bug forced controllers offline and left owners unable to heat their homes. The company has confirmed that a software update error had caused the thermostat's batteries to drain, therefore making it unable to control the temperature. Users of the smart home device took to social media to express their anger at being left with cold houses. Some feared that the fault had put water pipes under pressure, risking burst plumbing.
Google

Google Claims a TOS Violation On RouteBuilder For Using the Map API (medium.com) 130

New submitter acm writes: RouteBuilder has been using the Google Maps API to help people share their routes (bicycling, hiking, etc) for a decade. Last week, Google sent an email demanding Routebuilder stop using the API: "In particular,your application violates clause 10.4(c), which does not allow developers to create a wrapper — an application that re-implements or duplicates the Google Maps website or mobile app, or any of the Google Maps APIs." Why did it take the Google Maps Team 10 years to decide they don't want pedometer-type sites to use their API?
Programming

Did Google and the Hour of Code Get "Left" and "Right" Wrong? 107

theodp writes: Command the dancers to "point left" in Google's dance-themed Code Boogie learn-to-code tutorial on the Santa Tracker website, and the dancers actually point to their own right. The lesson seems to reinforce a common mistake made by younger children learning to code in LOGO, which is to use their own or the display screen's frame of reference rather than the turtle's frame of reference. "These misconceptions," explained Richard E. Mayer, "may be due to the knowledge that the child brings with him or her to the programming environment. For example, children who possess an egocentric conception of space (Piaget & Inhelder, 1956) would fail to recognize that when the turtle is at a 180-degree orientation, its right corresponds to the child's left." So, it should probably be asked if the learn-to-code tutorials from Lucasfilm, Code.org, and Google that are being used to teach the world's K-12 schoolchildren to code might be making the same mistake as 4-7 year-olds. In this year's flagship flagship Lucasfilm/Code.org Star Wars Hour of Code tutorial, for example, command the droid BB-8 to move left and it could move to either its own left or right depending on what direction it's pointed in. So, did the "Largest Learning Event in History" also get "left" and "right" wrong?
Chrome

VLC Launches On Chrome OS Thanks To Android Port 44

An anonymous reader writes: VideoLAN today launched VLC, the world's most used media player, for Chrome OS. You can download the new app, which is a port of the VLC version for Android, from the Chrome Web Store. Chrome OS was one of the last desktop operating systems for which VLC was not available (the media player exists for Windows, OS X, Linux, BSD, Solaris, OS/2, Haiku/BeOS, and ReactOS). Yet Chrome OS wasn't an easy operating system to support, as VLC is a native application on all platforms (it uses low-level APIs to output video, audio, and gain access to threads) built using mostly C and C++. Writing VLC in JavaScript and other Web technologies, as Chrome OS requires, is not an easy task by any stretch.
Google

Untangling the Tale of Ada Lovelace 124

theodp writes: To commemorate the 200th birthday of Ada Lovelace, Google's CS Education in Media Program partnered with YouTube Kids on Happy Birthday Ada! for Computer Science Education Week. For those seeking (much!) more information on The Enchantress of Numbers, Stephen Wolfram has penned a pretty epic blog post, Untangling the Tale of Ada Lovelace. "Ada Lovelace was born 200 years ago today," Wolfram begins. "To some she is a great hero in the history of computing; to others an overestimated minor figure. I've been curious for a long time what the real story is. And in preparation for her bicentennial, I decided to try to solve what for me has always been the 'mystery of Ada'." If you're not up for the full 12,000+ word read, skip to "The Final Story" for the TL;DR summary.

Slashdot Top Deals

Arithmetic is being able to count up to twenty without taking off your shoes. -- Mickey Mouse

Working...