Archive for Google

Google Launches New Messaging Service WITHOUT End To End Encryption….. Why?

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 24, 2018 by itnerd

Google has either made an epic blunder here or they really don’t care about the privacy of their users. I say that because Google’s new “Chat” messaging service that The Verge uncovered last week is trying to do for Android what iMessage (or Messages as it is now know as) does for iPhone users. Which is rethink how people text message each other.

But there’s a catch:

But remember, Chat is a carrier-based service, not a Google service. It’s just “Chat,” not “Google Chat.” In a sign of its strategic importance to Google, the company has spearheaded development on the new standard, so that every carrier’s Chat services will be interoperable. But, like SMS, Chat won’t be end-to-end encrypted, and it will follow the same legal intercept standards. In other words: it won’t be as secure as iMessage or Signal.

Well, that’s a #fail.

Google wants to rethink how people text message with each other. But they’re not going to secure those messages and they think that’s cool. If I am an intelligence agency or a cyber criminal, Google just made my life a whole lot easier. But if I am an Android user, I think I’d switch to WhatsApp or Signal as they secure messages from end to end. Or if I was really ticked off at Google, I’d switch to iOS as clearly they care about their users privacy. The fact is that we live in a world where privacy needs to be top of mind. Google clearly doesn’t get that. Hopefully they get a swift kick in the posterior the feedback that they need to adjust their thinking accordingly.

Advertisements

#PSA: Google Chrome 66 Launched Today With Features That You’ll Want To Leverage

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 18, 2018 by itnerd

Google today launched Chrome 66 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The key reason why this is a big deal is that this release includes autoplaying content muted by default. That alone is worth the price of admission as I can’t count the number of times I had to close a tab or mute my computer because I went to a web page that had content that autoplayed and I couldn’t quickly find the source of that content. I did a quick test prior to writing this article and found that autoplaying content that is muted still plays automatically. Autoplaying content with sound, whether it has visible controls or not, and whether it is set to play on loop or not, simply does not start playing. And if a page somehow circumvents the autoplaying block, you can still mute whole websites.

Besides that key feature, there’s also the usual security fixes and there’s new developer features. You can update to the latest version now using the browser’s built-in silent updater or download it directly from google.com/chrome.

Google Announces Android Enterprise Recommended program…. Without Samsung

Posted in Commentary with tags , on February 22, 2018 by itnerd

Google has announced the Android Enterprise Recommended program, an enterprise focused initiative that highlights devices that follow best practices for professional use. It also lays out a set of requirements that OEMs must follow. Speaking of OEM partners, here’s who’s on the list at present:

  • BlackBerry KeyOne and Motion
  • Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL
  • Huawei Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, P10, P10 Plus, P10 Lite, and P smart
  • LG V30 and G6
  • Motorola X4 and Z2
  • Nokia 8
  • Sony Xperia XZ1, XZ1 Compact, XZ Premium, XA2, and XA2 Ultra

Now if you’re thinking “hey, why isn’t Samsung on this list?” you’re not alone. It’s strange that the biggest maker of Android phones on the planet, not to mention the one manufacturer that has biggest presence in the enterprise space isn’t here. But they did have a line in their blog post that says “You can expect more Android Enterprise Recommended devices to be added in the coming weeks and months.” So maybe when the Galaxy 9 ships they’ll appear. But still it is curious.

Amazon, AMD, Apple, ARM, Google, Intel & Microsoft Are Asked To Answer Spectre And Meltdown Questions

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , , on January 25, 2018 by itnerd

It seems the Spectre and Meltdown gong show just got real. The leaders of Amazon, AMD, Apple, ARM, Google, Intel and Microsoft have been asked via a letters to answer questions about the two CPU bugs by Republican members of the US House of Representatives.

Specifically, the politicians want to know about a secrecy agreement that was put in place by these same companies. In short the agreement demanded silence from June 2017 which is when researchers recognized the seriousness of the processor design flaws, through the planned date of coordinated disclosure on Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Except that The Register found out about the flaws and dropped the details on an unsuspecting world a week before the deal expired, which caused these companies to scramble to get fixes out.

You have to suspect that this is the first step in the eventual public flogging known as a Congressional Hearing. Given that this is an election year, that won’t end well for any of these companies. But we’ll see if congress decides to go there.

Google Home And Chomecast Products Might Be Killing Your WiFi

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 16, 2018 by itnerd

Do you have a Google Chromecast or Google Home device? Have you been having WiFi issues? You may not be alone according to The Register. It seems that these devices appear to be killing the Wi-Fi connections of some users.

The issue centers around the fact that these devices send a whole bunch of data packets that is above and beyond what is normal in a short amount of time via the Wi-Fi connection. If the device goes to sleep, this stops. But when it wakes up, it can start up again. And the longer the device was asleep, the more packets it will send. Routers don’t know how to deal with this flood of traffic, so in the best case scenario, it will disconnect the offending device. In the worst case, it will crash your network taking every device down with it.

The issue reportedly affects routers from ASUS, Linksys, Netgear, TP-Link, and Synology. Thus this appears to be purely a Google issue. This is backed up by a report in 9to5Google where Google all but admits that this is their issue and they’re working on a fix. TP-Link clearly didn’t want to wait for Google to fix this as they released their own fix. It is possible that other router companies may do the same.

It will be interesting to see how fast Google fixes this as this based on my quick research seems to be a common issue.

Toronto To Be Home To Alphabets Biggest Smart City Project Yet

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 18, 2017 by itnerd

Sidewalk Labs, the smart city subsidiary of Alphabet (the parent company of Google) with the stated goal of “reimagining cities from the Internet up,” now has a very big sandbox in which to conduct its high-tech experiments:

That’s obviously an ambitious project, but some of the groundwork is already being laid: Alphabet’s Google will be the flagship tenant for the new neighbourhood, anchoring the easter waterfront, to be called “Quayside,” and Sidewalk Labs has committed $50 million to kick off pilot testing and planning in partnership with the City of Toronto. Sidewalk Labs won the contract through its response to a Request for Proposals issues by Waterfront Toronto, and organization created by the Canadian federal government, the Ontario provincial government and the City of Toronto together to foster development of Toronto’s lakefront areas in ways that address urban sprawl while respecting the realities of climate change and taking into account the ability of the city’s residents to get around efficiently. The area involved in the RFP that Sidewalk Labs will work with the government coalition to develop spans around 800 acres (though 12 acres are specified for the initial project), and is one of the largest underdeveloped urban areas in any North American city, making it a good target for Sidewalk’s ambitious vision, which involves building smart cities holistically from the very start. Ultimately, the partners hope to turn the area into a “place for tens of thousands of people to live, work, learn and play — and to create and advance new ideas that improve city life,” according to a release from Sidewalk.

Now being from Toronto, I should be happy about this. But to be honest I am not sure about this. Sidewalk Labs thinks it can use new technology and great reams of data to create a neighbourhood that demonstrates innovative solutions to problems that cities like Toronto suffer. I’d be interested to know what else Sidewalks Labs will do with that data besides building a smart city. After all, Alphabet AKA Google makes piles of cash from data. That’s why I will reserve judgement on this for now and take a wait and see approach.

Telus Announces Pre-Orders For Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Posted in Commentary with tags , on October 4, 2017 by itnerd

With so much excitement surrounding Google’s announcements today, Telus is proud to confirm that both the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are now available for pre-order. Pixel 2 will be available for purchase in-store and online at telus.com on October 19 followed by the Pixel 2 XL next month.

To enrich their experience even more, Teluscustomers who pre-order the new Google Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, will also receive a Google Home Mini! To take advantage of Telus’s seamless pre-order experience, customers can simply visit our website at telus.com