Category : Google

Google Revealed a rare Mac security flaw- BuggyCow

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Google has uncovered a rare security flaw for Apple’s computer operating system MacOS…it was a bug that was known by Apple…they are aware and have been notified that it has to be fixed in the next 90 days.  The Google folks are calling the bug, “BuggyCow.”

The bug allows malware already running on a Mac, or a rogue logged-in user, to gain access to the more protected bits of their computer. The Mac would already need to be compromised in some way to actually exploited the bug.  Security is build in layers and in this case at an OS layer that is not the case with the current OS in production.

Google Makes Photo Scanning a Piece of Cake!


The holidays seem to give people the little push they need to start digitizing their photos. I hear it every season – “This is the year we are finally going to get all the old photos on the big TV and go through them!” and then it comes time to decide how, and the idea falls flat.

The top notch way would be with a photo scanner, and if you have stacks and stacks of photos, this is the recommended option. Photo scanners aren’t always cheap, and spending a little more money and time researching will pay off in the long run. But, if you aren’t in the financial situation to spend a couple hundred bucks on a devoted photo scanner, Google has you covered.

Google announced their new app, PhotoScan, intended for ease and quality. If you have ever tried to take a photo of a photo with your smartphone camera application, you know the quality of the picture is less than great. It is pretty obvious by the glare that you took a photo of a photo, and the edges are almost never straight. Sending your photos off for a company to digitize is an option as well, but the cost associated and the time frame are not ideal. Not to mention most do not want to send their original photos and have to get copies made anyway! What a mess!

The Google PhotoScan app gives a better solution, designed purely for photo capturing. The difference is that loads of scanning applications exist, but these are designed for documents with small print, flat color, and no glare. PhotoScan is designed for photos. It works by first walking you through the steps to take four overlapping photos of the print photo. It superimposes four dots on your smartphone screen and has you move your phone around to draw a circle around each dot. After which the application detects edges and straightens each of the four photos together, removes the glare, and finalizes the result. You are left with a perfect photo of a photo!

The application is essentially taking each of the four photos and stacking them on top of one another. In the process it removes the bright white pixels caused by glare and even adds image correction to color and clarity. Photos can be saved to the photo storage on your phone, or Google Photos offers unlimited storage with easy search, organization, and share features.

Check it out this holiday season!!



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An end to memory hogging with Chrome 55!

chromeChrome 55 is set for release on December 6th of this year, and promises to reduce the usage of memory for major websites such as Reddit. YouTube and the Times. Sites like these will consume 50 percent less RAM than in the most current version of Chrome. This change will occur due to the reduction of background memory consumption. Currently Chrome pre-loads websites in the background, but does not release the memory used once loading is complete.

Using a memory visualization tool, programmers working on the V8 JavaScript project discovered that “the background parser would keep an entire zone alive long after the code was already compiled,” according to a blog post. “By immediately freeing the zone after compilation, we reduced the lifetime of zones significantly which resulted in reduced average and peak memory usage.”

A year ago Google announced that coders had began streamline processes to clean up Chrome’s background loading, and had changed Chrome to identify when a website was no longer busy, using that time to clean unused memory. A few months later Microsoft announced that the Edge browser was more power-efficient than Chrome.

Seems as if Chrome isn’t afraid of a challenge. Chrome 55 release date is December 6th.



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Google Fiber seeks to test Super Fast Wireless


In 12 major cities, Google is planning to rely on wireless technology rather than fiber-optic cables, and requesting permission to test wireless in 24 U.S. cities. Google parent company, Alphabet, has also suspended Google Fiber gigabit speed projects in San Jose, California and Portland.

As of right now, Google Fiber has reached six metro areas, the first of which being Kansas City in 2012. This process has cost hundreds of millions of dollars, largely due to the digging up and putting back together of streets and private residences. Google Fiber has not released how many customers they have in Kansas City or any of the other six metro areas. The Google Fiber blog however continues to promote the service, with three new business internet plans, including the $250 a month for 1 Gbps upload and download speeds with no data caps. Those eligible for the three plans include small businesses in Charlotte, North Carolina, Provo Utah, Austin Texas, and Nashville Tennessee.

The prediction that Google Fiber will move to a wireless reliance rather than the fiber-optic cable, is no surprise to analysts comparing industry ISPs. ISPs have plans in place already to deploy smaller cellular equipment for shorter distances to connect homes and small business to the closest high-speed fiber-optic cable. The wireless link could be a short distance away however, perhaps less than 100 feet away from the building or street in question. Also on the market already are small outdoor devices that are “small cell” and called “picocells”, as small as a shoebox, and easily hung from a light post or pole.

AT&T Gigapower is reportedly superseding  Google Fiber in citywide fast internet fiber rollouts. Google reliance on wireless however, could significantly influence this report, matching At&T. The speed of deployment with wireless will certainly allow Google to move more easily into more cities, keeping Google Fiber competitive.

Gartner analyst, Bill Menezes, thinks that wireless with have a boatload of advantages for Google, including the speed at which it can be installed, because of the elimination of having to drop a cable line on premise. This most certainly makes sense, as the service provider can ship to the customer directly, the premise receiver and self installation software, cutting the need for on-site installation. Menezes relays that it will be crucial that Google test the effectiveness and speed of wireless technology. Reliance on wireless technology at a higher frequency will transit over a short distance and have poor in-building penetration, possibly leading to more outdoor antennas such as the shoe box sized picocells.

This past April Google began testing wireless connections in their first Google Fiber location, Kansas City, testing the 3.5 GHz spectrum. This test is believed to last 18 months.

Always keeping things interesting.



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Google gifts teachers with VR field trips and much more

Google brings VR to teachers

Google released a string of announcements today, many of which are aimed at the education of our youth. Using a Google Cardboard viewer in combination with an accompanying Expeditions app, students will be easily transported to far away lands, prehistoric times, truly anywhere the imagination can venture, so can Google. This will give students the opportunity to learn in new and exciting ways, bringing together textbook information and video viewing into one interactive experience. Can you imagine a group of ten year olds waiting in line for their turn with a virtual reality headset? I imagine giggles and excitement no matter the subject.

Since launching, over a million students in 11 countries have gone on these virtual reality field trips, says Google. In addition, the destinations have grown to over 200, including those made by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and soon Pearson, two established educational providers. Google says they are making the Expeditions program available to everyone. All that is needed to participate is a Google Cardboard device and smartphones, or tablets in 2D full-screen mode. The Expeditions app is currently available for Android, but will have an iOS counterpart according to Google. Best Buy Education will also be making Expeditions kits available for schools to purchase, including a tablet, VR viewer and router.

In addition, Google also announced a free Chrome app called Google Cast for Education, which works with the Google Classroom service. The app works to give teachers more built-in controls, running on the teacher’s computer so no additional hardware is needed. Teachers run the Cast for Education app, and students can share their screens using the the existing “Cast” feature in the Chrome browser. How cool is that? There are also a trio of new apps coming for classrooms that use Chromebooks, such as the interactive whiteboard, Explain Everything. Google also will release a music and podcast maker called Soundtrap and a video project tool called WeVideo. Although in my personal opinion, I don’t see these making it across all schools, rather I predict the Google Cast for Education app getting the most buzz.

Lastly, Google announced a new feature in Quizzes in Google Forums which will let teachers grade multiple choice tests and checkbox questions. Rather than just marking answers wrong, teachers can add review materials, explanations and supplemental websites when an answer is marked wrong, to give a little clarity to why the answer is incorrect. As highly requested, Google now allows teachers to disable a setting that lets students send themselves a copy of their responses.

I think Google is trying to be first in line for the education market… and I’m all about it. Lets see if schools can afford to get on board. Cheers to VR field trips!



If you would like to learn more about the information presented in this blog please visit our original source: Tech Crunch


Whats Up HTC 10

The HTC 10 had no choice but to revamp their design in order to compete with the Samsung Galaxy S7. A mere 5.6 ounces the phone feels more solid than previous models especially the G5. The back of the phone is curved, even rocking when placed on a flat surface. The front has a 5.3 inch, 2,560 by 1,440 Super LCD 5 screen. There is a physical home button complete with a fingerprint reader below the screen.

The design may have improved but the hardware still the same as the S7 and G5 with  2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 4 GB of Ram. Although not wireless charging, the phone houses a USB-C jack on the bottom of the phone and supports Quickcharge 3.0.

What really makes the HTC 10 pop in terms of customer attraction is the audio. The 10 uses two speakers, a front facing tweeter at the top and toward the bottom an edge facing woofer. This combination leads to less distortion than you receive on many other smart phones on the market. The 10 comes with a “hi res certified” headset worth about $90. A pretty nice gift if you ask me. You can tune the headset to your hearing preferences and capabilities by listening to a series of tones. The headphone amp is one of the most powerful with 1v amp connected to a 24-bit DAC.

Different than other smartphones, the photo gallery app and calendar have been replaced with Google Photos and Google Calendar. In addition the phone is pre-loaded with Facebook, Messanger, and Instagram. Not a social media wizard? Don’t get your hopes up for a cleaner phone, these pre-loaded apps are not permitted for deletion.

The HTC 10 will be available in the next coming weeks for pre-order from T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon for about $699.



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VMware takes on the big boys with Boxer app for AirWatch

VMware launched a new version of the Boxer iOS app earlier this month and its pretty awesome. The app is for companies using VMware to manage their employee’s mobile devices VMware Boxer is available for both AirWatch and Workspace One customers. The app includes some attractive features, not surprising as Boxer is intended to replace the preloaded Mail feature on the Apple iPhone and iPad.

screen-shot-2015-10-15-at-9-03-16-amThe new app allows for preference customization such as change of sound when new emails arrives. You can also take different actions by swiping email messages, and easily bulk edit messages. The app combines email and calendar taking away the need to navigate away from Boxer in order to see your calendar events. Similar to other applications put forth by Microsoft and Google in terms of functionality.

Boxer VMware will be made free for AirWatch users on the orange, blue and yellow plans. For those who have already committed their email needs to VMware, no need to worry. If you are one of the many that still want VMware purely for email management, VMware will release a special build on the app that will let consumers more more slowly and provide more time between updates. Most consumer and commercial users will be presented with rapid release updates as they are made available, but the extra feature for businesses that wish to update at a slower pace is an attractive option.


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: VMware goes after Outlook with Boxer email app for Airwatch


Chrome 49 Update Increases Extension Visibility 

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Google Chrome has a large fan base of users who have most likely noticed the changes made with the most recent update.  A string of icons now appears in the upper-right corner of the browser window due to Chrome 49. This icons should look vaguely familiar considering they are the extensions installed on your computer. This enforces that each extension has a persistent UI surface.

Google released a statement in which they describe protection as the most influential reason for the change. Hearing frequently that users are blind to the extensions they have installed due to sideloading and installation by phishing this update ensures users are knowledgeable about their extensions. Extensions utilize computing resources and can significantly impact performance and security.

You may notice the color change feature. The icons in your toolbar now change colors to show you which extensions have and do not have impact on your current activities. For instance, if the extension has no impact on the current page, then the icon turns gray to signal the lack of impact. The icon will light back up when the extension impacts the page you are working on again.

Tip for those of you who are wondering where the other icons have gone, your browser window might be small or you may have quite a few extensions installed. Click on the Chrome menu button on the far right of the toolbar. This will allow you to access the icons that have been dumped due to lack of space. You will no longer be able to delete these icons for good, so make sure you know how to access your hidden icons.

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Google now hits iOS devices

Google now has been on android devices for over a year now and just today it was announced that it is now available on iOS devices. Google now basically helps you manage your day to day tasks. From boarding passes, to appointments, weather, reservations, and more.  It essentially syncs with your desktop as well and you can see it on your phone for hours to come.

Check out the short video.

Chrome Extension Opens Microsoft Office Docs In the browser window

For those of you users out there who are running Google Chrome beta, there is a beta extension in existence called Chrome Office Viewer that will actually let you open Microsoft Office documents in Chrome. Currently this is a read only extension but hopefully soon it will be a full blown read/write add-in. It has the potential to be a big plug-in. It is also important to note that when opening documents in chrome, it opens it up in a sandbox mode. Essentially separating it from everything else to prevent infections if the file is malicious. Pretty cool if you ask me.