Google, in its ongoing work to define the web according to its vision, will soon block auto-play video in its Chrome browser. This new step, along with many others that Google has taken to reward websites that comply with its view of how the web should work, is actually a good thing for users. Auto-play video is a terribly annoying marketing technique, used to get in peoples’ faces with a message. Deemed a ‘win’ by marketers, it makes for a lousy user experience, especially when visitors are chased around a page by a non-stop video while scrolling. Blocking these techniques, along with providing sites with higher rankings for incorporating features like fresh content, responsive (mobile friendly) design, and https (for greater security), results in a better web for everyone. We just wonder whether one company having that much influence over the web is desirable. In any event, websites that use auto-play video should become familiar with the way Google plans to implement this new policy, detailed in the following article, and adapt accordingly.
Read full article: http://bit.ly/2wgosGh
The LinkNYC project, powered by Google, is bringing internet access throughout the five boroughs — along with a host of privacy concerns as the city sells its citizens’ locations, movements and various other data to third parties.
Targeted advertising of the sort that underwrites LinkNYC isn’t about getting consumers information about goods and services they want, says Rushkoff, the media theorist. Rather, data collection is about producing profiles of consumers likely to engage in a particular form of consumer behavior, and then bombarding them with ads or search results or tailored Facebook feeds to tip them over into that behavior. “They are working hard to get you to behave true to your statistical profile,” Rushkoff says, “and in doing so they reduce your spontaneity, your anomalous behavior, your human agency, as they try to get you to conform to the most marketable probable outcome.
Find out what’s going on behind the scenes with these cool, street-side kiosks in this eye-opening article: http://bit.ly/29wt40n
Website load time is part of Google’s criteria for ranking sites. This is one of the things within your control to help you gain visibility in search engines. A few others are responsive (mobile friendly) design, publishing ongoing, useful content, and optimizing pages for the right keywords. For now, let’s look at some things you can do to speed up your site …
Read full article: http://bit.ly/29TPAzf
Accessibility is taken seriously at Google. They’ve now combined strong accessibility guidelines for Android developers with their speech recognition technology to make smartphones more accessible than ever. This article is a good description of Google’s approach, but it also provides insight into the importance of accessibility and how web products need to think about the people that can be better reached and served through the best practices of good accessibility.
Full article at http://bit.ly/25fwZVe
With a focus on speeding up websites, here’s a quick look at four technologies that are just around the corner that will affect the way we do business on the web: http2, SSL, Brotli and CDNs: http://bit.ly/1XEyyX3
Tech companies are just scratching the surface of what they can do with Big Data. An enlightening article describes some of the power that comes with recording the daily lives and activities of hundreds of millions of people. In a 2012 experiment Facebook learned how it could alter the moods of users. Google routinely runs about 20,000 experiments per year involving users. Facebook even learned that it could motivate people to get out and vote — not inconsequential given that it can filter out individuals’ political persuasion. That experiment involved over 60 million people! Where else but online can a sample size that large be assembled, without their even knowing it …
Facebook and much of the rest of the web are thriving petri dishes of social contact, and many social science researchers believe that by analyzing our behavior online, they may be able to figure out why and how ideas spread through groups, how we form our political views and what persuades us to act on them, and even why and how people fall in love.
It’s likely researchers would like to figure out a whole lot more, given the magnitude of data available. Makes one wonder what interesting things they’re doing that are not being disclosed.
Read full article: http://nyti.ms/1z86m1O
Video is at the forefront of technologies that both enable enhanced communication and serve as a viable business tool on the web. With Google’s latest product announcements it’s evident that collaboration within all forms of businesses will soon be best conducted online using video. It’s now possible to transmit high-quality sound and images to remote locations so that disparate parties can work together. No longer is video communication hampered by the restraints of bandwidth and machine capability. The resulting efficiencies allow the best people to work as if in the same room regardless of location. Add to this web-based collaboration tools and cloud storage and the need to travel is almost completely wiped out.
The following article points out how Google’s new products, specifically Chromecast, Hangouts, and the Nexus 7, make video the tool of choice for these kinds of collaborations. Think of the possibilities of consulting with ad hoc teams from anywhere in the world — or within your own locale — to assemble on short notice, work on ongoing projects, or bring in special expertise. The time is right for businesses to get up to speed on these kinds of video and collaboration tools.
Read full article: http://www.eweek.com/mobile/nexus-7-chromecast-google-hangouts-mean-big-business/
Most people believe [Google Plus] is just another social networking service where all of our friends are supposed to join and share photos, status updates, and messages with each other. But it’s really not that at all.
Sure, there’s a social networking aspect to it, but Google Plus is really Google’s version of Google. It’s the groundwork for a level of search quality difficult to fathom based on what we know today. It’s also the Borg-like hive-queen that connects all the other Google products like YouTube, Google Maps, Images, Offers, Books, and more. And Google is starting to roll these products all up into a big ball of awesome user experience by way of Google Plus, and that snowball is starting to pick up speed and mass.
This articles goes on to show how services like Google Authorship and Google Plus Local Business pages all come into play to make Google Plus membership a must have. I think it’s time to take a second look at Google Plus, and be ready for a migration to come some day soon.
Read full article: http://bit.ly/XeiGt5
Google’s new cloud computer, actually a lightweight laptop, comes out this week. The idea is that your applications and data all live on Google’s servers. You just take this cheap little device around and work, communicate and collaborate whenever and wherever you want. I think it will be a hit, especially if third parties are allowed to write apps for it. Undoubtedly the Chrome OS will need some time to mature, but this could be very big, especially for schools, small businesses and those on the other side of the “digital divide.”
Google this week took the wraps off a pair of ultralight Chromebook computers, both of which will be manufactured by Samsung and outfitted with the Chrome operating system – not Mac OS or Windows. The newest Chromebook is set to ship at two price points: $249 for a Wi-Fi-only edition and $329 for a 3G version.
“Chrome OS eliminates the hassles of manually updating applications over time; the platform’s Web-based apps all update seamlessly on their own, just like the OS,” Raphael writes. “You don’t have to deal with messy drivers and software conflicts or worry about virus protection, either.
Read full article …
A heated battle for the future is underway, and forces are aligned around the ongoing court battle between Apple and Samsung. Apple is ticked, claiming Google’s Android OS is basically a copy of Apple’s iOS. Steve Jobs has even famously vowed to use all of Apple’s cash (about $80B or so) to “destroy Android.” Some untapped rage over Microsoft’s copycat Windows OS and Apple’s failure to stop it is probably still at work. Eight Samsung phones were held up as examples, and now a $1B judgment has been handed down against Samsung.
Repercussions from this case are just beginning. Google, now in danger of losing worried phone makers as customers for its system, is suing Apple. Meanwhile, Microsoft is jumping for joy trying to decide how to woo those same makers to its system.
“I think this will force a reset on Android products as they are re-engineered to get around Apple’s patents,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the tech consultancy Enderle Group.
“[It should also] provide a stronger opportunity for both of Microsoft’s new platforms – Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 – because they come with indemnification against Apple, suddenly making them far safer.”
These behemoths believe that what’s really at stake here who will own mobile, as if that’s a desirable outcome for anyone other than one of these companies. We’ve seen it before — who will own search? who will own browsers? who will own e-commerce? etc., etc., etc. Billions of dollars go to lawyers, settlements are eventually made, and the world goes on. I can’t blame companies for protecting their intellectual property, but when the goal is to rule the world, no one wins.
Read full article: http://bbc.in/QJeID5