The last decade or so of worldwide culture has been defined by one thing: immediate and growing access to data. The biggest change is, of course, the shift from old-fashioned cell phones to smartphones, giving users in every geographical and economic niche access to the width and breadth of the internet everywhere they go. A recent analytical report has put that cultural shift into clear focus: half the people on the planet now own a smartphone. Read More
Google Fiber is high-speed internet the likes of which most of us can only dream of. For a handful of states, Google's effort to get people online faster is already a reality. Roughly six metros are set to get the experience at some point in the future. Another dozen are being considered, and today Google has announced Dallas as the latest city to make that list. 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
Feel free to file this one under amusing. You know those balloons Google started releasing into the stratosphere several years ago in an experimental attempt to expand Internet access? Apparently a certain Android app is able to pick them up. A reader submitted these screenshots of Flightradar24 tracking one of Google's Project Loon balloons.
In this case, the helium balloon was spotted hovering somewhere off the coast of Brazil at an altitude of 53,600 feet. Read More
Dear residents of Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, and Raleigh-Durham—I now hate you. I am not alone in my unremitting dislike of you. Indeed, most of the web now despises you and your upcoming access to the holy grail of internet access, Google Fiber. Yes, Google is rolling fiber out to these four metro areas in the coming months. Congratulations, jerks.
To the residents of Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri: we hate you. Sincerely, every Internet user in the United States.
We've known about Google's plan to roll out its very first fiber optical Internet and cable service in the twin Midwestern cities for months, but today the full scope of Google's plans has been revealed on the fiber.google.com page. The options are staggering, the technology is drool-inducing, and the extras are enough to make even Google I/O attendees jealous. Beginning in September, Google will begin to roll out its fiber to neighborhoods in both cities that have rallied enough residents to request the service on the Google Fiber website. Read More
An interesting little tidbit came across to us in an otherwise ordinary posting on Amazon's app developers' blog. While developers will have the option to use DRM or not in their apps, those that do use the digital licensing service may present problems for those users who are temporarily without an internet connection.
Comparing it to the way Amazon currently handles the storing of Kindle books, the curious part of the post reads:
"Any app that has Amazon DRM applied to it will require users to have installed and signed-in to the Amazon Appstore client to access the app. When an app is accessed by the user, it will verify with the Amazon Appstore device service as to whether the user has an entitlement to the app.