Tag : Google

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!!



If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit : www.computerworld.com 


Windows 10 Vulnerability – Edge Browser users Safe


The vulnerability is called Strontium, found in Windows code. Google stumbled across the flaw, and wrote a blog post in late October stating the affects on Adobe’s Flash media player. Google’s policy concerning such critical vulnerabilities is to publish them actively seven days after Google has reported them to the software’s creator.

According to Google, the flaw exists in the Windows kernel and can be used as a “security sandbox escape”. Sandboxes are use in software in order to stop malicious or malfunctioning programs from reaching or otherwise damaging other parts of the machine.

Microsoft has acknowledged the flaw, but also criticized Google for releasing it before a fix was available, stating to a member of VentureBeat,

“We believe in coordinated vulnerability disclosure, and today’s disclosure by Google puts customers at potential risk,” said a Microsoft spokesperson.  “Windows is the only platform with a customer commitment to investigate reported security issues and proactively update impacted devices as soon as possible.”

Microsoft Executive Vice President Terry Myerson, explained the vulnerability in more detail in his blog post on Tuesday. In order for the computer to be affected with the malware, it must first infiltrate Adobe;s Flash to gain control of the web browser. After which privileges are elevated in order to escape the browser’s sandbox. Finally the malware would be able to install a backdoor to provide access to the victim’s computer.

Those that are using Microsoft Edge browser are protected, as the browser prevents the installing of the backdoor. Everyone else is left to wait for the next available patch to solve the issue, which should be November 8th.


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: www.pcmag.com 


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.



If you would like to educate yourself in greater detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: www.pcmag.com

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


Chrome 49 Update Increases Extension Visibility 

[caption id="attachment_5575" align="alignright" width="351"]WP 16 You may have noticed this new aesthetic in the top right corner of your screen.[/caption]

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.

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about material presented in this blog post please visit:


Your smartphone may be dumping Gorilla Glass for Sapphire Glass?

Currently sapphire is the second hardest material behind that of a diamond and is currently used in certain military armor. If some sapphire creating startups have their way, they will be able to make it cheap enough to put into many other products, such as tablets, smartphones, and TVs. Really the uses are endless. This material is a little weaker than a diamond but it is much cheaper and abundant than that of diamonds.

Sapphire is a transparent, crystalline form of aluminum oxide that is extraordinarily hard, scratch-resistant, a melting point of 2,030C, and almost completely impermeable and impervious to caustic chemicals. Essentially 10 times more scratch resistant than glass used in windows.

Although sapphire costs about $30 compared to the $3 Gorilla Glass costs for you iPhone per say, but it will also prevent us from seeing those shattered iPhones screens that come around every now and again. If they are able to make the stuff cheap enough I say why not, but our smartphones already come at a pretty penny and I would hate to see that go up even more but I guess the costs of staying on the cutting edge might be well worth it.

Check out the vid…


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.

Vermont Telephone Company boasts its gigabit internet service is live

In recent light of Google’s announcements of fiber service in several cities, it is reported by the Wall Street journal that Vermont Telephone Company is offering gigabit internet service to its customers at a price of $35 per month. Currently they report there are about 600 people subscribed. Just to compare, Google is offering the same service in select cities for $70 per month. We will see how long the small company can sustain charging so little for such a fast internet pipe.

The good news for everyone is that there is competition in this area which will hopefully continue to push the boundaries of your home internet speed as well as bring down the prices.

Bing Search Results

According to a German research firm, Bing is near the top of the list when it comes to malicious sites in search results. Within a 18-month time span Bing had 5 times as many malicious sites than Google did. After 10 million searches were conducted Google had 272 potentially suspicious sites while Bing had a whopping 1.285. To read a more thorough report on the findings click here.