Tag Archives: Google

If The Characters Of “Friends” Had The Internet

Rachel

Rachel would be your worst nightmare as a friend on Facebook, regularly changing her relationship status to “it’s complicated” — it’s not; her and Ross have just had a small argument — and humblebragging constantly.

Joey

Tinder / Warner Bros. / BuzzFeed

Tinder / Warner Bros. / BuzzFeed
Joey would be a full-time Tinder player, although his charm wouldn’t come across through online messaging. He’d eventually delete the app after regularly stumbling across people he’s dated in the real world.

Monica

Monica
Pinterest / BuzzFeed
The quintessential Pinterest user, Monica would spend her evenings obsessively organising her many created pinboards and occasionally criticising the boards of others.

Ross

Ross
LinkedIn / Warner Bros. / BuzzFeed
Ross would hate all social media but still have a LinkedIn profile because apparently “that doesn’t count”.

Phoebe

Phoebe
Youtube / Warner Bros. / BuzzFeed
An uploaded video of “Smelly Cat” on YouTube would go viral, although not as much as the Auto-Tuned version, which would make Phoebe internet famous. She’d continue posting videos and gain a small but devoted fandom on the site.

Chandler

Chandler
Twitter / Warner Bros. / BuzzFeed
Chandler would almost definitely have a Twitter account, where he’d be tweeting terrible, but very occasionally OK-ish puns to a decent follower count.

Gunther

Gunther
Google+ / Warner Bros. / BuzzFeed
Gunther made one post on Google+ in 2011. He still regularly checks to see if anyone’s responded to it yet.
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Google Joins Forces with GoPro Inc with New Google Maps Focusing on Destination

Google will reportedly make another acquisition this time eyeing GoPro.  The company went public this June reaching a valuation of $9 billion.

As GoPro’s stocks tripled its value, analysts think there is a reason to believe that the takeover may soon become a reality. Google also released a new Maps update focusing on destination.

There is no doubt about Go Pro’s success in the action camera market. However, it is now up against rising competition like Polaroid and HTC.

Google’s takeover of the company can offer additional investment allowing GoPro to exploit as many opportunities as possible.

Value Walk notes that this is a good opportunity for the company especially since it can test its user base and strengthen its technical expertise even more.

GoPro’s specialization will also work well for Google Glass. Other opportunities predicted from the takeover include cloud storage and video processing services for GoPro owners.

Analysts point out that the takeover is possible considering Google’s recent moves on acquisition. The company took over 33 enterprises spending as much as $5 billion. Google has never been shy when it comes to big ticket deals thus taking over GoPro remains high despite its big price.

Google previously paid $12.5 billion for Motorola Mobility. Other predictions from CSS Insight include big names in sports like Adidas or Nike spending on wearable companies like Fitbit, Jabra or Jawbone.

Following the release of the Android 5.0 Lollipop update, Google is also now rolling out another minor update on Maps focusing on destination. The Google Maps 9.1 version now gives users more information about their destinations. People only need to tap on the pin to see snippets of the local weather, time and short description.

PCWorld notes that when people touch the pin over place like the San Francisco Marriott Marquis, the app describes the place with “sophisticated rooms in a modern high-rise, plus business perks, indoor pool and penthouse lounge. 4 stars.”

Make International Phone Calls from your Mobile even without the Internet

How do you make international calls from your mobile phone? Mobile carriers often charge exorbitant rates for international phone calls but you can Internet based services like Skype or Google Hangouts and call any landline or cell phone number in the world for a low per minute fee.

All you need is a mobile phone connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot and some credit balance in your account for making the phone call.

You can use these VoIP apps when travelling overseas as well and make significant savings for both domestic and international calls.

Now consider a scenario where you have a mobile phone but there’s no Wi-Fi around and the 3G/4G services are either slow or unavailable.

Would you still be able to place calls through any of these apps? The answer is obviously in the negative but there’s at least one app that has figured out a unique solution to this common problem.

The app, known as Ringo, lets you make international calls from your mobile phone but “without” requiring the Internet. It does so by cleverly converting your request to dial an international number into a local number.

Let’s say you are trying to call someone in Singapore from India. When you make a call through Ringo, the app will internally dial a local number in India.

At the other end in Singapore, it will again make a local call to the desired number and will connect these two calls using their own infrastructure. This process is transparent to the end users though it make few seconds extra to initiate the call.

International Call Rates – Comparison

Here’s a chart comparing the voice calling rates (in cents per minute) for all the popular voice calling apps. Ringo not only allows you make international phone calls without 3G or WiFi but it is cost-effective too.

Skype Viber Ringo
Callback
Ringo
Wifi
Google
Hangouts
USA 2.3 1.9 1.2 0.2 Free
India 1.5 2.2 1.9 0.9 1.0
UK 2.3 5.9 1.4 0.4 3.0
Russia 2.3 7.9 12.5 11.6 12
Brazil 3 19 3.6 2.6 6.0
China 2 1.3 1.6 0.6 1.0
Singapore 2.3 1.9 1.4 0.4 2.0

In my testing, I found the voice quality good and the app automatically figures out all the international numbers in your phonebook.

 Also when open a contact inside Ringo, it will show their current local time and this little detail does help save a trip to Google.

Is Ringo a replacement for Skype or Google Hangouts? Well, yes and no. With Ringo, you do not need the Internet to make phone calls but you still need a local number.

In the case of Skype, you do not need a local number but you have to be connected to the Internet.

Also, Ringo is mobile only while Skype lets you call telephone numbers from Mac and Windows PCs as well.

Ringo is available for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone.

First Bitcoin ATM in Greece Promises Limitless Transactions Amidst Capital Controls

First Bitcoin ATM

The first 2-way bitcoin ATM was inaugurated in downtown Athens on Saturday at The Cube, a coworking space that houses several innovative startups. And many find that through this very ATM they can overcome Greece’s capital controls.

The 2-way (bitcoin to euro and vice versa) ATM machine was installed by Spanish startup company Bitchain. Joaquin Fenoy, the company’s 36-year-old chief technology officer (CTO), believes that installing the machine might help Greeks during the crisis.

After the implementation of capital controls, Greek citizens are able to withdraw only 60 euros per banking account. But this doesn’t apply to bitcoin.

“It is a system that cannot be controlled,” noted Bitchain CTO Joaquin Fenoy at the inauguration event.

“People are not limited, here” he added. In fact, as he was speaking, a young man was able to withdraw 120 euros from his bitcoin wallet, which is double the amount Greeks are allowed to withdraw from banks on a daily basis.

The crypto currency might be helpful especially to the young entrepreneurs who cannot fulfill payments abroad because of the recent limitations.

Bitcoin_Grece_ATM

The bitcoin is a completely digital currency. It is not available in any physical form of coins or banknotes. It is not produced by any particular country and not controlled by any particular bank.

Production, storage, handling and all transactions with bitcoin are exclusively in electronic form. In more technical terms, the bitcoin is a peer-to-peer payment system and a digital open source exchange, invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008.

According to Adrian Verde, who also works with Bitchain, the ATM allows people to store their own money with 0% commission fees.

“The banks are withholding the people’s own money and a bitcoin ATM machine could help in such a situation,” he said.

First Bitcoin ATM1

The event was attended by several curious Greeks who wanted to know more about the bitcoin and be one of the first people to use the machine. Two university students, Dimitris and Aris, were excited by the prospect.

However DImitris noted that such technology may need more time to grow in Greece, since people are more used to “real money” and they are often suspicious of online transactions.

But for Petros, the bitcoin has created an online community without limits and borders.

“Bitcoin ATMs are an easy way to send money abroad and make transactions online, two things that are currently not allowed in Greece due to the capital controls,” he said.

He also noted that the transactions are safe and transparent since the system allows users to see any transaction that has been completed since the bitcoin first made an appearance in 2008.

Petros also noted that the bitcoin, via the newly installed ATM in Greece, can be used in many ways to help the country during the crisis.

The digital currency could be used by international corporations that wish to send money to their Greek offices for actions in Greece, or businessmen from other countries can invest in Greek startups or other companies.

“It is a peer-to-peer system with no delays that is based on trust,” Petros said. “I believe that Greeks will be able to learn to use and trust bitcoin.”

“They learnt to use Google, why not this?” he concluded.

Craziest-Designed Google Offices DESIGN

Google Office in Tel Aviv.

The Google company is known for the working environment it offers its employees.

Google Office in Zurich.

But another aspect of the business is often pointed out, it is the unusual design of these offices worldwide.

Google Office in Dublin.

All is thought to the welfare of employees and that they are working in a more relaxed frame possible.

Google Office in Budapest.

Google Office in Amsterdam.

Iceland’s tech imports are killing the Icelandic language

“I think Icelandic is not going to last,” Jón Gnarr, comedian and former mayor of Reykjavik, tells PRI. “Probably in this century we will adopt English as our language. I think it’s unavoidable.”

The culprit, according to Gnarr, is packaging. Despite numbering among the most developed countries in the world, Iceland sustains itself on a trade model typical to less affluent places: exporting primarily raw or lightly processed natural resources and importing consumer goods.

After refined petroleum and aluminum oxide, major imports include automobiles, aircraft, pharmaceuticals, and computers. These items often arrive from or by way of English-speaking countries (Canada, the United States) or companies; meaning proficiency in English is required for a range of everyday tasks, from deciphering a car-owner’s manual, to measuring a dose of acetaminophen.

According to PRI, anglicization begins in the delivery wards: “Births take place with the aid of medical devices whose instructions are in English, so hospital staff must be able to read English.”

But penetration of the language goes beyond the practical—there are cultural impetuses, too. Ari Páll Kristinsson, who leads language planning at the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, told PRI that, at Icelandic funerals, it’s not uncommon for friends and family to memorialize loved ones with English-language songs.

Iceland has a rich history of linguistic diversity. Dark Age settlers spoke Norse and Gaelic. Seventeenth and eighteenth-century traders and fishermen brought German, Dutch, French, and even Basque. The island was under revolving-door rule of Danish and Norwegian monarchs, who imposed their respective languages on as well.

But the biggest linguistic shakeup arrived with the Second World War, when American and British forces set up camp to repel what was thought to be an inevitable German invasion. (Iceland was a sovereign kingdom in personal union with Denmark at the time; with Copenhagen falling to the Nazis by 1940.) At the height of American occupation, 40,000 soldiers were stationed on the island—far outnumbering native-born Icelandic men.

According to Egil Helgason, writing for The Grapevine (an English-language newspaper published in Reykjavik), “cultural influence from the States pervaded” during those days. “Icelanders aspired to drive American cars, the only television station in the country was run by the US military, their radio stations pumped out Elvis Presley to rock hungry Icelandic youth.”

And the Icelandic government didn’t do much to combat the allure. “By comparison, the only Icelandic radio station allowed to operate at the time, which was state-run, only seemed to feature symphonies, folklore and long weather reports,” Helgason writes.

But what started as reasonable affinity for the most culturally impactful language on Earth has evolved into a language-killing dependency.

“Our everyday lives are becoming more and more dependent on devices operated by computer technology, devices that more frequently are operated with voice command,” wrote Ingibjörg Rósa Björnsdóttir in a 2013 column for The Grapevine.

She spoke with Eiríkur Rögnvaldsson, a professor of Icelandic grammar, who added,

“The more our everyday lives become a field where we can’t use our mother tongue—which is not something happening to an isolated group of people, but all Icelanders—the more danger it is that people give up on the language, thinking: ‘Why bother learning this language, why don’t we just switch over and start using English so we can be competitive in a modern world?’”

A 2012 report ranked Icelandic among the 30 likeliest European languages to succumb to “digital death” in the next 100 years, beaten out only by Maltese in terms of risk. Though Google has made a small effort to offer Icelandic voice-services for its software and devices, Rögnvaldsson doesn’t believe it’s a sustainable arrangement:

“We don’t have any control over this; it is Google that owns this technology and we can’t use it for just any devices we have here. Google can decide at any point to stop offering this service or start charging us for it or whatever,” he said.

Realistically, major tech-development firms aren’t likely to prioritize an Icelandic-speaking population of just over 300,000. The market simply isn’t big enough to offer an Apple or Google or even Nokia any real value. The solution, according to Rögnvaldsson, is for Icelanders concerned with the future of their language to engineer their own software and devices:

“We need to create our own software, that we have ownership of and can use however we like.”

5 million Gmail passwords leaked to Russian Bitcoin forum

Nearly 5 million usernames and passwords appeared to have been published on a Russian Bitcoin forum.

Much of the information is old and potentially out-of-date, Google representatives told Russian media, so the so-called “leak” may be more accurately described as a collection of phished and hacked credentials collected over years.

In fact, many of the accounts have long been suspended or are matched with very old passwords.

The database of usernames and passwords, which was first reported by CNews, was posted on Tuesday evening to btcsec.com, a Russian-language Bitcoin security forum. The publisher, named tvskit, posted the following screenshot of the database, claiming that over 60 percent of the passwords were valid and working:

Gmail passwords screenshot

The file contains information on English-, Russian-, and Spanish-speaking users of Google services, such as Gmail and Google Plus. In addition to Google, the leak includes thousands of user credentials for Yandex, the largest search engine in Russia.

Google and Yandex representatives told CNews that while the credentials were stolen through years of phishing and hacking against individuals, their own systems were never compromised.

To protect yourself, change your password and enable two-factor authentication on Google and all your important Internet accounts.

Russia’s Bitcoin Security forum has been the scene of several major leaks over the past several days.

On Tuesday, 4.66 million Mail.ru accounts were exposed. Monday, usernames and passwords from 1.26 million other Yandex accounts were published in a text file.

If you want to find out if your account is included in the leak, you can head to https://isleaked.com/en.php and input your address.

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