Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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Submission + - Google Under Fire For Sharing Google Wallet Information (

bonch writes: Google is being criticzed for sharing user information with third parties through Google Wallet. Unlike Apple's system in which iTunes is the merchant, Google's third-party developers are the merchants and receive user information, to the surprise of developers like Dan Nolan, who wrote a blog post about being sent email addresses, mailing address, and sometimes full names. Critics charge that consumers are mostly unaware of the sharing. In a statement, Google noted that the behavior was outlined in the Google Wallet Privacy Policy.

Submission + - Motorola Seeks Ban On Macs, iPads, And iPhones (

bonch writes: Google-owned Motorola is asking the International Trade Commission to ban every Apple device that uses iMessage, based on a patent issues in 2006 for "a system for providing continuity between messaging clients". Motorola also claims that banning Macs and iPhones won't have an impact on U.S. consumers. The ITC has yet to make a decision.

Submission + - Chrome Browser Usage Artificially Boosted (

bonch writes: Chrome was recently called the world's no.1 browser, but Microsoft is accusing the source, StatCounter, of using flawed methodology. When a user enters a search in Chrome, the browser preloads an invisible tab not shown to the user, and these were being counted by StatCounter. Net Applications, another usage tracking group, ignores these invisible tabs and reports IE at 54%, Firefox at 20.20%, and Chrome at 18.85%.

Submission + - EU Warns Google To Change Or Face Fines (

bonch writes: Europe's top antitrust regulator has issued an ultimatum, giving Google weeks to propose changes or face formal charges of antitrust abuse. Google is under investigation for allegedly promoting its services over competitors in search results. Google issued a statement disagreeing with the EU commission's conclusions, stating that 'innovation online has never been greater.'

Submission + - Google Search Adds Knowledge Graph (

bonch writes: Google has augmented its search engine with Knowledge Graph, which presents a set of facts related to a search query. For instance, searching for a historical figure would display biographical information from Wikipedia in a sidebar, or searching for a location could display maps and population data. Though it could mean less traffic for third-party sites, the feature is intended to turn Google's search engine into an answer engine.

Submission + - YouTube Phases Out The +1 Button (

bonch writes: In an attempt to bring more content to the struggling social network, Google has announced it will be phasing out the +1 button on YouTube in favor of a Google+ Share link. Previously, the +1 button behaved similarly to Facebook's "Like" as a lightweight method of marking content you found interesting without embedding it directly in your stream. The new Google+ Share button will instead embed the content in your stream for followers to view and comment on.

Submission + - NY Times: EU May Reopen Google Street View Inquiry ( 1

bonch writes: After an FCC report revealed that Google's Street View wi-fi logging wasn't the act of a rogue engineer and that other employees knew about it, European regulators are considering reopening their investigations into the program. Dutch regulator Jacob Kohnstamm said that lawmakers were misled by executives at Google and that 'it is time for data protection authorities around the world to work together to hold the company accountable'. A Google spokesperson responded, '[W]e agree with the F.C.C.’s conclusion that we did not break the law. We hope that we can now put this matter behind us.'

Submission + - Google Supervisors Knew About Wi-Fi Data Harvesting (

bonch writes: According to the FCC report, Google's collection of Street View data was not the unauthorized act of a rogue engineer, as Google had portrayed it, but an authorized program known to supervisors and at least seven other engineers. The original proposal contradicts Google's claim that there was no intent to gather payload data: 'We are logging user traffic along with sufficient data to precisely triangulate their position at a given time, along with information about what they were doing.'

Submission + - FTC Escalates Antitrust Investigation Against Google (

bonch writes: The FTC has hired an outside litigator for their investigation into Google's alleged antitrust practices, signaling their intent to take the case to court. Competitors have accused Google of manipulating its search results to promote its own services over others. 'It’s a watershed moment when you hire someone like this,' said one former FTC official. 'This shows Google that if it doesn’t give you the remedy you want, you’re going to litigate.'

Submission + - Google Made $550 Million From Android Since 2008 (

bonch writes: Figures in court documents filed as part of a settlement with Oracle suggest Google generated only $550 million in Android revenue since 2008. According to the numbers, which were derived from figures offered by Google as part of a damages offer to Oracle, Google receives just over $10 per Android handset annually. Google's presence on iOS was much more lucrative, generating four times a much revenue--though it may not last, as Apple is working to replace its use of Google Maps.

Submission + - Google Begins Country-Specific Blog Censorship (

bonch writes: Google will begin redirecting blogs to country-specific URLs. Blog visitors will be redirected to a URL specific to their location, with content subject to their country's censorship laws. A support post on Blogger explains the change: 'Over the coming weeks you might notice that the URL of a blog you're reading has been redirected to a country-code top level domain, or "ccTLD." For example, if you're in Australia and viewing [blogname], you might be redirected to [blogname] A ccTLD, when it appears, corresponds with the country of the reader's current location.'

Submission + - Apple Beats Android In U.S. Marketshare (

bonch writes: Reuters reports that Apple outpaced Android marketshare in Q4 2011. Driven by huge demand for the iPhone 4S leading to a record-setting profit quarter, Apple's marketshare doubled from a year ago to 44.9%, squeaking by Android's at 44.8%. 'Overall, Apple sales are now growing at a faster rate than Android across the nine countries we cover', said research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

Submission + - Apple Closes In On Android Marketshare (

bonch writes: Nielsen reports that iOS closed the gap with Android marketshare in October through December, ending the year with 44.5 percent, nearly matching Android's 46.9 percent. Confirming an earlier report from NPD, Nielsen cited the launch of the iPhone 4S as the catalyst for the sudden growth. Other competitors didn't fare as well--RIM lost 7 percent share, while Windows Phone 7 carved out a measly 1.3 percent.

Submission + - Apple Closes Marketshare Gap With Android ( 1

bonch writes: A Nielsen report states that the launch of the iPhone 4S helped Apple close the marketshare gap with Android, raising them to 44.5% compared to Android's 46.3% in December, coinciding with an earlier study by the NPD group. Apple sold 35 million iPhones last quarter, with the iPhone 4S making up 57% of those sales. RIM continued its decline but still outsold Windows Phone 7, which came in at a measly 1.6%.

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