Changing your network settings, especially on a per-device basis, isn't easily possible unless you have a newer router - like the Google Wifi. For Xfinity customers using one of the standard Wireless Gateways, you could change basic settings from the Xfinity Account app, but not much else. Now Comcast has released a new app, xFi, that gives customers far greater control over their home network. Read More
Experienced internet explorers will know about The Onion Router Project, and some of you may have even used it at one point (guilty). Regardless of your thoughts on it, Tor has always tried to stand for internet freedom. The organization frowns upon censorship and throttling, which is why it has released ooniprobe to help raise awareness for the issue. Read More
Google's initiative to put privacy and security back into the hands of users through a revised permission system has received generally positive responses. It's no secret that this approach closely matches the way iOS prompts users for access to things like the contacts or location. Aside from the possibility that permission requests could become annoying with too much frequency, this has proven to be a pretty effective approach. However, since the announcement, one sticking point seems to have emerged around access to the Internet. As it turns out, users will never be asked to grant access to the outside world, and it's not even possible to revoke it, even if they wanted to. Read More
The rumors of Google buying a stake in SpaceX started percolating a few days ago, and now it's official. Google and Fidelity have invested a total of $1 billion in the private space firm, which gives them about 10% share. SpaceX says the new funding will go toward the development of reusable rocket technology and satellite manufacturing.
There have been rumblings recently that, adding to its other (perhaps more far-flung) efforts to improve Internet access around the world, Google would eventually deploy its own fleet of satellites. Today, those rumblings got a little bit closer to reality as Google announced its agreement to acquire satellite imaging company Skybox for $500 million in cash.
Skybox's journey so far, according to the announcement on its own blog, has been about revolutionizing "access to information about the changes happening across the surface of the Earth." Having already deployed the world's smallest high-resolution imaging satellite, the company says it's already made "great strides." Read More
Google Fiber coming to your city, with its promise of gigabit Internet speeds up to 100 times faster than what most of us currently put up with, is about as awesome as winning the lottery often enough to buy Time Warner Cable yourself and using all of the company's resources to funnel a connection to your house and yours only. Thus far the service has only appeared in a few parts of the country, namely Kansas City, Austin, and Provo. Today Google has announced that Fiber may be heading to 34 additional cities spread across nine metropolitan areas.
Everyone, be jealous of people in:
- Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe
- San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto
- Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, College Park, Decatur, East Point, Hapeville, Sandy Springs, Smyrna
- Charlotte, Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Garner, Morrisville, Raleigh
- Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Gresham, Lake Oswego, Tigard
- San Antonio
- Salt Lake City
I say may because none of this is set in stone. Read More
"Many people don't realize … the majority of the world is not connected to the internet. How do we get cost-effective, inexpensive, and reliable connectivity to the remaining 5 or 6 billion people who don't have it?"
Chief Technical Architect Rich DeVaul poses this question in introducing the technology behind Project Loon – the newly (officially) announced project from Google X that aims to bring internet connectivity to "rural, remote, and underserviced areas," as well as those affected by natural disasters. The project doesn't seek to do this with a hulking wired infrastructure, however. No, Google plans to do this using the "effortless elegance" of balloons, combined with the power of stratospheric wind. Read More
Everyone's favorite mesh networking startup Open Garden today announced its 2.0 refresh at LAUNCH festival, having allegedly already served 2.1 million installs since version 1.
Readers would be forgiven for not remembering exactly what Open Garden is, or why it's interesting – we last covered the app in its beta stage.
Basically, the idea behind Open Garden is to create ubiquitous internet access by linking various smart devices together and sharing a common internet connection in a mesh network. For example, if your smartphone is connected to the internet, Open Garden would allow you to create a mesh network to which your tablet, another phone, a PC, or all of the above could connect. Read More
Much like keyboards (which we covered last week), browsers are a dime a dozen. Google ships one browser with Android (in more recent versions, that's been Chrome), which most manufacturers then replace with their own proprietary version. And then there are the dozens (if not hundreds) of third-party browsers available on the Play Store.
What browser do you use on your phone? Stock Android (from before the days of Chrome as default), stock manufacturer, Chrome, or third-party? Read More
A couple of days ago, we ran a story about a circulating rumor that Google had expressed strong concerns with the launch of an Acer phone powered by Chinese Internet firm Alibaba's Aliyun OS. As the post explained, Alibaba claimed that Google had warned Acer that releasing the CloudMobile A800 could result in the search giant "terminating its Android-related cooperation and other technology licensing with [Acer]." These rather strong words led to speculation over just what the issue could be with Aliyun, and whether Google had issued the warning at all. Google quickly confirmed its stance, indicating that Aliyun was an incompatible version of Android, and one that could "weaken the ecosystem."
Aliyun OS, for those wondering, is a Linux-based operating system built by Alibaba Group, China's largest Internet firm by transactions. Read More