Google, in its ongoing effort to define the web according to its vision, will soon block auto-play video in its Chrome browser. This new step, along with a few others that Google has taken recently (and which rewards websites that comply with its views), is actually a good thing for users. Auto-play is a brute force marketing hack used to get advertisers’ messages in peoples’ faces. Deemed a ‘win’ by marketers, it makes for a lousy user experience, especially when visitors scrolling down a page are chased by a non-stop, blabbing video. Silencing these techniques, along with rewarding sites that incorporate features like fresh content, responsive (mobile friendly) design, and HTTPS (for greater security) with higher rankings, 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 Google’s 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 — and 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, but “stealthy,” street-side kiosks in this eye-opening article: http://bit.ly/29wt40n
Website load time is part of Google’s criteria for ranking sites and 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, helpful content, and optimizing pages with the right keywords. 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 describes Google’s approach, but it also provides insight into the importance of accessibility and how designers need to think about the people who can be better served through 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 its users’ moods. Google routinely runs about 20,000 experiments per year involving users. Facebook even discovered that it could motivate people to get out and vote — not inconsequential given that they can filter out individuals’ political persuasion. That experiment involved over 60 million people! Where else but online can such a large sample size be assembled — and without having to let the subjects know they’re being tested.
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.
We should expect researchers to start figuring out much more about human behavior, given the magnitude of data available and the power derived from such knowledge. It makes one wonder what interesting things they’re looking at right now that remain undisclosed.
Read full article: http://nyti.ms/1z86m1O
Video is at the forefront of technologies that enable enhanced communication and serves as a viable business tool on the web. With Google’s latest product announcements, it’s evident that businesses will soon conduct collaboration 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 limited bandwidth and machine capability. The resulting efficiencies allow the best people to work together regardless of location. Add to this web-based collaboration tools and cloud storage, and traveling is almost unnecessary.
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 globally, assembling on short notice, reviewing work in progress, or bringing in unique expertise. The time is right for businesses to look into video 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.
The article 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. Maybe take a second look at Google Plus, and then get ready for a migration someday soon.
Read full article: http://bit.ly/XeiGt5
Google’s new cloud computer, actually a lightweight laptop, comes out this week. Your applications and data live on Google’s servers. You just take this cheap little device with you to work, communicate, and collaborate whenever and wherever you want. There’s lots of potential, especially if third parties are allowed to write apps for it. The Chrome OS will certainly mature. Schools, small businesses, and those on the other side of the “digital divide” can especially benefit.
… something like Google Glass or whatever Microsoft is working on could end up replacing the smartphone as the dominant way people access the Internet and connect with others. First off: something has to. Disruption is inevitable. Secondly: The trend is obvious. Computers have been getting smaller and closer to our faces since their very beginning. First, they were in big rooms, then they sat on desktops, then they sat on our laps, and now they’re in our palms. Next, they’ll be on our faces. (Eventually, they’ll be in our brains.)
Read more: https://thenextweb.com/news/google-samsung-chromebook-announcement
A heated battle for the future is underway, and forces are aligning around an ongoing court battle between Apple and Samsung. Apple is ticked, claiming Google’s Android OS is 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.” (Untapped rage over Microsoft’s copycat Windows OS and Apple’s failure to stop it, perhaps?) Eight Samsung phones were examined, 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 from its platform, is suing Apple. Meanwhile, Microsoft is jumping for joy, trying to decide how to woo those same makers to its platform.
“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 is who will own mobile, as if that’s a desirable outcome for anyone other than these companies. We’ve seen it before — who will own search? Who will own browsers? Who will own e-commerce? etc., etc., etc. Big dollars go to lawyers, settlements are eventually made, and the world goes on. I can’t blame companies for protecting their intellectual property, but no one wins when the goal is to rule the world.
Read full article: http://bbc.in/QJeID5