Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Google's Nexus One twitter account hacked?

@googlenexusone spams followers.

After several months without a tweet, the normally quiet, reserved, almost shy twitter account @googlenexusone decided to let one rip... and man, what a stinker.

Being a Nexus One owner, I was glad to see the account tweeting again and was eager to find out what goodies/updates/announcements were being unleashed on N1 owners.
Apart from a link, the only other clue to what the announcement was about was the tweet itself... "Hottest new diet". Strangely enough the first thing that came to mind was Gingerbread... Awesome! I thought as I proceeded to click on the link. I hesitated for a second when I noticed TinyURL was being used as the URL shortening service instead of Google's own "", that second was long enough for the destination URL to be exposed.
Even though "" did not sound like a domain Google would own, let alone use to promote something about the Nexus One, I thought to myself, "stranger things have happened" and clicked on the link.

Instead of being redirected to like I had expected, I was redirected to where a message was waiting that said...

URL Terminated

The TinyURL (3977rka) you visited was used by its creator in violation of our terms of use. TinyURL has a strict no abuse policy and we apologize for the intrusion this user has caused you. Such violations of our terms of use include:

    * Spam - Unsolicited Bulk E-mail
    * Fraud or Money Making scams
    * Malware
    * or any other use that is illegal.

If you received spam, please note that TinyURL did not send this spam and we do not operate any email lists. We can not remove you from spammer's database as we have no association with spammers, but instead we recommend you use spam filtering software.

Followers respond

Bummed, and still unsure whether TinyURL had got it right (False positive maybe?) I was also curious to see (if it was spam), what sort of spam @googlenexusone was tweeting.
So proceeding with caution, I armed myself with Rex Swain's HTTP Viewer to reveal what the page contained. (just in case it also contained malware).

It was revealed that is indeed spam.
Not only is it spam, its also a scam that makes false health claims about Acai Berries in an attempt to lure victims into paying astronomical prices for something that tastes like rubbish and is no better for you than half an orange. There is also the obligatory fake comments to back up the false claims...

So, was Google's Nexus One twitter account hacked?, or was it not theirs to begin with? I actually thought that it used to be a verified account, but doesn't seem to be now.


Seems as though whoever is in charge of the account has got it sorted (for now).

Saturday, August 14, 2010

dotCO domains - any potential?

I didn't jump on the .CO bandwagon and I'm not sure whether that's a good thing, or a bad thing.
I think I only got two of them, one was to redirect, and one because.. Um, I guess because just in case ;)
I do see some potential in the extension, as well as some negatives.

The negatives are, .CO is very similar to very popular .COM, so when someone sees a URL with a .CO extension, be it on a poster, sticker, newspaper ad etc, chances are they will just assume its a .COM! Even for those that notice, or see that the "M" is missing, I think a lot of them will assume that its a mistake.
These assumptions will eventually be corrected once the .CO extension is more widely known by the general public. Until then, it will be difficult to brand a new site in the .CO extension.

One of the ones I got was the .co version of my .com site which gets a lot of direct and type in traffic, so any typos will get redirected (I also have the .net .org .info etc).
I got the .co on the 28th of July and since then have had 140k direct visits to the .com site. I know a lot of these direct visits probably come via browser bookmarks, but some come from type ins. And if they type in the wrong extension, the redirects show up as referrers in Analytics.

So far I have had "142" visits redirected from the .NET, "14" from the .ORG and "1" from the .CO. That "1" was me checking that the redirect was working.
So I don't think .CO domains will get too much "typo" type in traffic.

The main benefits I can see with this extension is for SEO, because you have a better chance of getting your keyword domain in a new extension, and (if they take off) as an alternative to an unavailable .COM that's undeveloped but for sale (at an astronomical price) .
There are a lot of great .COM keyword domains out there that have not been developed, they just have a for sale sign on them. Often they remain for sale for a long time because the owners think they are worth more than the market is willing to pay (or they are holding on to them till the market catches up to their expectations).

Because the domain is undeveloped and basically just a for sale sign or sometimes a crappy niche directory, it gets no traffic and is therefore no competition. This is where the .CO has potential to shine, it can be built up, branded and rank in that niche without any competition from the .COM... providing the owner is an end user or is willing to brand and develop.

If it gets parked with a for sale sign on it as well, then it just becomes another wasted domain... unless of course the owner has realistic expectations about its worth.



Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Comment spam on Google owned blogs

I’ve been meaning to write a post about all the comment spam on official Google blogs for a while now, but kept putting it off.
Even though I am reminded (what seems like) a few times a week. One time I even tweeted Matt Cutts about it, but my tweet probably got lost in all the other tweets he gets.

Basically ever since I left a comment of my own on Google’s “Inside AdSense” blog posts on May 21 this year, and opted in to receive emails for follow up comments, I have been receiving an email which tells me what is said in every comment that has been left.
So far not one of them has been genuine, they have all been spam.

What is Google doing to combat the effects of comment spam?

Well having the URL’s nofollowed is great for Google’s index, as it does help keep spam out of Google’s search results, but that doesn't stop the ultimate affect of the spam being left on a trustworthy site.

I know the majority of people can tell the difference, but I wonder what percentage of people think that because Google have not removed it, that its somehow OK and/or may be legit? Then click on the links, visit the sites and purchase items from them.

That’s obviously what the spammers ultimate goal is, I mean they can see that the links are nofollowed by GoogleBot, so I don't think for a minute they are spamming Google blogs for "SEO" purposes.
They simply want clicks, and ultimately sales.

The longer the links are left high traffic, highly trusted sites, the more chance they have of people ending up on their site buying stuff, and if they see in their logs that Google are indeed sending them traffic, then that will just encourage them (with good reason) to keep spamming Google’s blogs.

So why don’t they remove it?

I know that as soon as I get a comment on this blog (which is a blogspot blog using my own domain), I get alerted via email, and if its spam I delete the comment straight away.
But to be fair, my blog gets very little traffic compared to Google's, and therefore doesn’t get many comments so it’s relatively easy to moderate.

Google on the other hand have a network of very popular blogs covering all sorts of topics and services they offer, which no doubt gets tons of traffic and a lot of comments.
So is it possible that they just can’t keep up with the moderation, that its too much work for them to constantly keep deleting spam comments?

My guess would be that they have a day set aside where they go through and clean up all the crap they have ignored/save up over the months.
The oldest spam comment on the “Inside AdSense” blog post I have been following is dated April 28 2010. So it’s obvious they don’t do it very often.

Do they clean it up every 3 months (will it disappear July 28?). If so then that gives the spammers 3 months to promote their crapware.
Wouldn’t it be better to enable moderation of all comments so they don’t get published to the site straight away! Then at their set intervals, they could go through and either except or decline comments that are waiting in queue.
At least then the spam does not get “promoted” on their site while they find the time to delete it.

Blogger does offer a few different ways to moderate comments within the program, but a few more would be handy.
Could adding a "Flag as spam" button help alert blog owners to spam comments? I guess that wouldn’t help blog networks like Google’s if they don’t have the time to go through and delete the comments anyway, but it may help others.
Something like Akismet for blogger would also be a great addition to help combat the problem.If something like that is available, why doesn't Google use it?
After all, they obviously do care about it, they have a massive team devoted to trying to keep it from showing up in their search results.

So why don’t they hire a few people full time to try and keep it from their own blogs which turn up in those search results?

UPDATE: August 14.
I just noticed a new message/banner when I logged into Blogger...
Blogger automatic spam detection
So it seems Google are doing something about comment spam on Blogger blogs after all.
Come to think of it, I can't recall getting any 'new comment' emails from the Google blog this week. I guess they must have enabled it on at least one of their blogs! Good on ya Google.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Homeland security presents Disney on ICE

U.S. government agencies including the "US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE)" and the "Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)", yesterday executed four residential search warrants and seized domain names as well as assets from bank, PayPal, investment and advertising accounts, under the "guise" of a crackdown on Internet piracy.

No doubt the crackdown was "encouraged" by the RIAA and MPAA (often referred to as the "MAFIAA"), but ultimately will be funded by the US taxpayers to help protect the multi million dollar salaries the movie industry executives expect to be paid. (Oh, and to a lesser degree the actors, actresses, writers, grips, etc, etc)

Domains seized in the raids were, Movies-Links.TV,,,, and and, two popular streaming services were also seized as part of the assault.

I have to admit that I haven't even heard of any of these sites except one, the one I did know about, I never new was even breaking any laws.

I can understand them going after sites that were hosting copyrighted files on their servers, but from what I understood about filespump, was that it was just a custom search engine that returned links to files hosted on other sites based on users search terms?

If that's the case and they didn't host any files, then how are they any different to Google, Yahoo! or Bing?

Doing a search on Google for keyword, will return links to files stored on rapidshare that have "keyword" in them. There is nothing wrong with that, and to assume all files stored on sites like rapidshare are illegal, or copyrighted would be wrong.
But depending on what keywords are used in the search, some of the results may be links to illegal or copyrighted material.
So how is that any different to what filespump was doing.

In fact I own a site called uvrx, which is basically just that, a custom search engine.
I designed it to search for files on sites like rapidshare, megaupload etc. I have no files hosted on the site, and the site is not designed to find "illegal" files, but if someone used certain keywords in their search, then links to copyrighted material may be returned in the results.
Both the domain name and website are hosted in the US. Could they seize uvrx too?

This whole "Homeland Disney on ICE" situation has got me a little worried... But I don't feel like I should have to worry about it. After all, lots of people use Google to search for copyrighted files... and Google don't need to worry... do they?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Australia finally gets the Google Nexus One

On Friday 25th June 2010, just before the close of business, Vodafone Australia confirmed they are getting ready to sell the Google Nexus One. Over 5 months after its US debut.

Release date and price/plan/contract details have not yet been announced, but VHA have said more details, including timing and availability will be announced next week.

UPDATE: 30th June.
Vodafone have now announced via twitter that...
We will be releasing the Nexus One online only tomorrow, there is short supply so be quick.
More information is available on the Vodafone site Including this gem...

The Nexus One will be available from 01 July 2010 Thursday for $0 upfront on the 79 Cap over 24 months (Total min cost $1896).
The Nexus One will be available exclusively to new and existing Vodafone customers by visiting the site or calling 1300 303 130.

Vodafone have also stated in their twitter feed, that the N1 will not be available in stores, or as an outright purchase.

One part of their "Terms and Conditions" that seems odd (or wrong), is the bit that says "Unlocking fee applies".
lol. The Nexus One is not carrier specific, so is not locked to any carrier, therefore an "Unlocking fee" should not be necessary. I have asked them via twitter how they can charge to unlock a phone that's not locked, will update if/when I get a response.

Got a response, They said

The phone is unlocked and comes with no unlocking fee.

So if your in the market for an N1 and you don't mind been stuck on a contract for 2 years, are already, or don't mind paying $79 a month, then your in luck (you can get it from here tomorrow).
However, I still think that its a better deal to buy directly from Google (At least while the Google store is still open). That way your not tied into a two year contract and can choose any plan from any carrier, especially at a time when more and more data intensive devices are becoming available and new plans are emerging or are being tailored to devices like this. IMHO.

For those you that were over the waiting game and thinking about importing your own, it may pay to wait till Vodafone reveal more details next week.
For those of you that bit the bullet and imported one when the first came out, hope your still enjoying it as much as I am :)


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Google closing the Nexus One online store

Seems the Google web store set up in early January to sell the Nexus One is closing down.
A blog post by Google's Nexus One board on the 26th April, stated that

on April 30th Vodafone will start selling Nexus One in their UK stores, online, and over the phone. Soon after, they will also begin selling Nexus One in France (SFR), Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain.

No mention of Australia :|
In hindsight, this post acknowledged what many had already said about the online order process and lack of the 'try before you buy' model of selling a product.
The official Google blog has now confirmed in their latest post, that this is indeed one of the main reasons the web store has not performed as well as expected.

While the global adoption of the Android platform has exceeded our expectations, the web store has not. It’s remained a niche channel for early adopters, but it’s clear that many customers like a hands-on experience before buying a phone

I suspect another reason for the slow sales was the exclusion of most of the world from being able to purchase the Nexus One.
The post then went on to say...

Once we have increased the availability of Nexus One devices in stores, we'll stop selling handsets via the web store, and will instead use it as an online store window to showcase a variety of Android phones available globally.

Depending on whether carriers give customers the option to purchase the phone outright without contract as well as with a contract makes me unsure whether this is just bad news for the web store, or bad news for everyone.
After a quick look at the Vodafone site in Europe, I can't seem to find the option to buy the Nexus One outright. (but it was only a quick look, I could be wrong)

So is this the end of been able to purchase an unlocked/no contract Nexus One (at least initially)?
I also wonder if carriers are going to start loading (and locking) their crapware on top of Android... and if they do, will it delay any OTA (over the air) updates like HTC's Sense does..
I hope not.
With the store confirmed as closing in the near future as well as the pending release of Android 2.2 (AKA Froyo) which is expected to make vast improvements to Androids performance and features, I wonder if the Google web store's activity picks up with a final rush of people wanting to purchase a Nexus One without being tied to a contract!

In all honesty, I have a feeling that this may have been Google's plan all along. Which in turn means I disagree with the reports that claim the web store was a failure.
I think it succeeded in its objective, which was to give people (especially those in America) a taste of an "open/unlocked" phone, without stepping on too many toes (IE: not competing with the manufactures who have adopted Android and the carriers who do deals with those manufactures)

Unlike here in Australia, having a phone that will work (without rooting or jail breaking) on different networks just by swapping out the SIM seems to be a pretty rare thing in the USA (correct me if I'm wrong).
The Nexus One does it well, doesn't have any carriers crapwear installed, gets updates sooner because there is no crapware, and is easily hackable.

Even if not too many stores start selling it, there's still plenty of them already out there. If owners, or even friends of N1 owners, see, appreciate and understand these benefits, they may want the same advantages in their next phone, then maybe demand will start to shift the market in a more open/unlocked direction...
Sure there will always be subsidized contracts, but the choice of buying "outright" not tied to a carrier or contract, may become more of a common option.


Friday, May 7, 2010

How many forum members does it take to change a light bulb

How many forum members does it take to change a light bulb?

1 to change it then post that the light bulb has been changed

5 to share similar experiences

4 to discuss how it could have been changed differently

7 to caution about the dangers involved when changing light bulbs

1 moderator to move it to the Electrical section

2 to argue about the move

1 admin to move it to the Lighting section

3 to point out spelling/grammar errors

5 to flame the spell checkers

3 to correct spelling/grammar flames

6 to argue over whether it's "lightbulb" or "light bulb"

8 to condemn those 6 as stupid

1 industry pro to inform the group that the proper term is "lamp"

8 to claim they used to work in the industry, and "light bulb" is fine

36 to pad their post count by replying "nice post, thanks for the information"

7 to argue that this forum is not the appropriate place and to take this discussion elsewhere

9 to defend the posting, saying that we all use them, so therefore the posts are relevant to this forum

19 to debate which brand is superior and the best place to buy them

7 to post URL's where one can see examples of different light bulbs being changed

4 to post that the URL's were posted incorrectly and then post the corrected URL's

13 to multi quote every post they agree with and add +1

6 to multi quote the +1's and add +2 and me too

5 to announce they are leaving the forum because of the light bulb controversy

7 to post good riddance.

4 to post several links to threads that already cover the topic in depth

13 to say "use Google before posting questions"

1 forum lurker to reply 6 months from now and start it all over again.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Google gives Street View an extra D

Google LatLong: Google physicists discover extra dimension in Street View

Well I guess it had to happen,
with 3D being headlined in the news a lot lately. It was only going to be a matter of time before the internet giant (aka Google) made the shift towards the extra dimension.

I somehow thought YouTube would be first on the list to get slapped with the extra D, but I the YT was beaten by Street View and books.
Rumor has it that it will be implemented into Google's turn by turn Navigation within the year ;)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Malware details to leave labs and go primetime

Labs, in Google's webmaster tools has had a disclaimer of sorts in place since the Labs feature was added back in October 2009. This "disclaimer" states that...
"Webmaster Tools Labs is a testing ground for experimental features that aren't quite ready for primetime. They may change, break or disappear at any time."

Well one of the Labs features "Malware Details" looks to be going Prime time. Although I haven't heard anything officially from Google about this, I did notice in a YouTube video Malware Detailsuploaded by Google's InsideAdSense channel, that the Malware Details link had moved from the "Labs" category and placed in the "Diagnostics" category and labeled simply as "Malware".

As most changes made by Google are first tested by their employees before going public, I guess its only a matter of time before the changes are seen by everyone.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Google rollout fiber to the home

Google have announced today that they are planning to build an experimental ultra high-speed, open access, broadband networks in a number of homes across the United States, in an attempt to make the Internet better and faster. (and I suspect to help give US ISPs a hurry along).

The network is expected to deliver speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.
This equates to speeds up to 100 times faster than currently available. (And at competitive prices :)).

The experiment is designed to test applications that are not possible with current internet speeds, also to find better, cheaper ways to build and operate networks, which Google intends to share with other network operators.

Google are well known for being a company that pushes internet boundaries and this seems to be another attempt at that.
After all, the more people that have access to and use the net, the more potential Google has to make money from advertising. So if investing in and testing ways can help improve build and operation costs for networks, they will indirectly benefit from the increased access, speed and availability.

Get involved


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Purchase the Nexus One in Australia
Nexus one Australia

Update: as of the 26th June, The N1 is now available (although a limited number) through Vodafone Australia on a $79 per month contract for 2 years. IMHO, its still a better deal buying directly through Google (while the store is still open).

The Google "Nexus One" phone manufactured by HTC, which made its debut earlier this month, is currently, the most advanced smart phone on the market.

Running Android 2.1 the latest version of Google's mobile OS, with a 1 GHz processor, and a high resolution capacitive touch screen, means this phone met (and exceeded) all high end requirements a smart phone should.

During Google's Nexus One announcement, it was revealed that the phone was available right now! And could be purchased by visiting provided you lived in the USA, UK, Singapore, or Hong Kong.

What about the rest of the world? We got... "Sorry, the Nexus One phone is not available in your country" Arrrgh.
Google say it will be available to other Countries (including Australia) in the coming months.

For those of you, like me, who don't want to wait several months for the latest and greatest piece of tech to arrive in Australia, (Which by then, will be considered old news to the rest of the world). I have put together a step by step guide to buying a Google Nexus One in Australia (or any other country they are not available).

This is the method I used to successfully purchase mine.

Ok, please bear in mind, that you need to have a Google checkout account in order to purchase the phone, A few people have noted that during this process they have had their checkout accounts temporally suspended until they provided ID to Google (Drivers license, utility bill in their name and address etc) to verify they are who they say they are. (In an attempt to curb online CC fraud).

Your going to need an account with Google to use checkout, so if you haven't already, I would recommend getting yourself a free Gmail account by visiting and clicking on "Create an account"
Once you have that account set up, you can now use that same account to sign up for more free Google products.

Now open a Google checkout account by visiting "" and enter all required information. Note: Make sure the billing address you specify is the same address your bank statements are sent to, it "may" also help if your default shipping address is the same as your billing address.
Also add your Australian phone number. Some people have randomly been phoned by Google to verify that they did place the order. So make sure it is one you can be reached on easily.

Once set up, a good way to check that everything is working properly is to make a donation to your favorite charity. (I donated to the Haiti relief, once that had gone through, the following day I ordered the Nexus One)

Now you need to get yourself an American mailing address that you can get mail delivered to.
I used ComGateway which is free to join.
Comgateway give you an address and phone number in Portland Oregon which also means you do not have to pay any extra taxes required by other states.
They assign you a unique suite number to distinguish your address from someone else’s.

Once you have that address, you need to add it as a "second" shipping address to your checkout account.
When I added my Comgateway address to my Google checkout account, I logged into checkout, clicked "Edit shipping addresses", and then added the comgateway address to the form on the right hand side.
I used my name (The same name I use for all my Google accounts) and the American address and phone number Comgateway supplied.
I unchecked "Make this my default shipping address" and saved it.
So I now have two shipping addresses in checkout. My default Australian address and the American address provided by Comgateway.

So now you are set to order your phone.
At the moment, you can access the URL, but you will get the message "Sorry, the Nexus One phone is not available in your country".
Google display this message to anyone visiting with an IP address that is not located in the one of the countries the N1 is available.

(Currently you can avoid the need for a proxy by using this link Not sure how long this loophole will remain open).

If the above loophole fails, you need to visit that page using an American IP address.
To do that, download and install Hotspot Shield from (it's free).
Once that is installed, turn it on and test it by visiting It should indicate you are located somewhere in the USA.
If it does, it means you can now go ahead and order your phone.

Note: Although HotSpotShield is a widely used and trusted program, I still don't like using any proxy to log into any sites, some bad untrustworthy proxies can be used to harvest user name and passwords. I would recommend changing your Google password before using HotSpotShield, then once you have finished using it, uninstall HotSpotShield from your computer and change your password back to what it was previously or something else... Just to be safe.

Navigate to
Where there once was a "sorry" message, you should now see a purchase a Nexus One phone button.
Go through the steps of purchasing your Nexus One phone.
Specify your Australian address for Billing.

When you get to the "shipping address" part of the process, your default (Australian) shipping address will automatically be entered into the form, prompting another sorry message about not being able to ship it to your Country.

"We do not ship T-Mobile service plans outside the United States. If you wish to continue with your service plan purchase, specify a shipping address within the United States. If you wish to purchase a Nexus One phone without a service plan, you may specify a shipping address in Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Kingdom, or the United States."

Just click "continue with purchase" and/or "Edit shipping details" (Can't remember exactly what the link says, but it is something like that). Then choose your American address from the list.
Continue through the order process.

All going well, within 24 hours after placing your order, your phone will be on its way to your address in Portland Oregon.
Once it has arrived and been processed at Comgateway, you will receive an email notification that you have mail (this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days... but usually within 24 hours).
Log in to your Comgateway account and get them to forward your mail to your Australian address.
Express shipping from Portland Oregon to Australia costs around $50 US dollars, some people say that priority shipping (which is around $30 US dollars) is just as quick.

I ordered my Nexus One on Monday the 18th of January, and received it on Monday the 25th of January. So all up the whole process from order to delivery took one week and cost around $650 AU dollars.
From the above instructions, it may sound like a major hassle to do, but it is really quite straight forward.

Considering lesser HTC unlocked phones (Like the HTC Dream) sell for up to AU$1200 dollars here. IMHO AU$650 (Depending on the currency exchange rate) for an unlocked Nexus One phone delivered to your door, is a great price.

Update: As of this morning (3rd Feb Australian time), less than a month after the phone went on sale, the first "over the air" (OTA) update for the Nexus One has been announced, The update should be available to all Nexus One owners by the end of this week.
The update is said to fix 3G reception issues as well as enable multi touch to the default browser, maps and the gallery.
Because I am impatient I "Manually" updated mine this morning and can confirm that multi touch - pinch to zoom now works on the Google Nexus One phone.
The touchscreen keyboard also shows signs of multi touch with this update and overall the keyboard seems faster and easier to use.
Looking forward to more OTA updates from Google

I will post my thoughts and opinions on the phone as well as a leather Nexus One case I got from Nutshell (AKA Tuff-as-nuts) soon.

Enjoy it. I am.

Update: 17 March 2010. Google have just announced that a version of the phone that is compatible with AT&T's network in the US and the Rogers network in Canada is now available for purchase through the Google store.
These networks use the same frequency as Telstra's NextG network. So if you have been waiting for a 'NextG' compatible version of the Nexus One, then your wait is over.
For NextG compatibility, when going through the ordering process, choose the following option...
"Compatible with 3G on AT&T (U.s) and Rogers Wireless (Canada)"
'Supports three 3G/UMTS bands (850/1900/2100 MHz) and four GSM radio frequencies (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)'

Google have also said they will now ship the Nexus One directly to Canada.
So the Canadians do not have to use any of the trickery we still have to. (for now at least).

Now the N1 is being offered to more countries and supports all of the major frequencies, I would expect Google to start opening the store and shipping directly to other countries such as Australia very shortly. Until they do, the trickery will continue.

PS: Just thought I would add,
Buying directly from Google is the only way to purchase an N1 at the moment. Either on contract with T-Mobile (which is not viable here in Australia), or unlocked.
They have set a very competitive and reasonable price for an unlocked phone of this quality.
Please beware of anyone offering a Nexus One phone at a cheaper price than Google can (Like the spam/scam comment I just deleted).

Unfortunately whenever there is a demand for something of value, scammers come out of the woodwork.
As the old saying goes, if it sound to good to be true....

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Haiti - Google maps updated show devastation

Over the past few days, Google has been updating the satellite imagery of Haiti, which "I hope will be valuable to aid workers", say's Sergey Brin in his blog.
In my opinion, this will give relief workers on the ground a better idea of their surroundings, and to easily spot areas that potentially have a high concentration of destruction and therefore injuries.

View Larger Map

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Twitter fails again

Yes, Twitter is down... Again.
Maybe the title should have been "The fail whale strikes again".

The reliance many sites have placed on the twitter API and its growth in popularity, sure has highlighted the issues it has with reliability.

Twitter is over capacity.

Too many tweets! Please wait a moment and try again.

Maybe time for a rethink.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Google review business operations in China

Google revealed today, that in mid-December 2009, they detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on their corporate infrastructure.
Originating from China, the attack resulted in the theft of intellectual property.

Although Google has not said who lead the attacks, they have stated that investigations show the primary goal of the attackers was to access the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.

Google have been operating in China since 1999 with varying degrease of success. In the fall of 2002, Google services were completely cut off from Chinese citizens for two weeks, when they were restored, Google discovered many queries, especially politically sensitive queries, were not making it through to their servers. As a result of this forced-censorship, Google's services in China became slow and unreliable.

In 2005, Google took a serious look at their Chinese operations and re-assessed their approach.
Counter to Google’s basic values and commitments as a company and as a requirement of doing (reliable) business in China, Google have been self-censoring results on the domain since 2006.

Since these attacks, Google have decided to review commitments with the Chinese government over the filtering of and today have stated...

We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down, and potentially our offices in China.

Although China is a huge market that Google risk losing by taking this stand, the reality is that for China to succeed internationally, the Chinese Government must be able to adapt and work with international companies.

This is a huge call by Google with potentially massive consequences. One that should be supported by anyone who believes in the essential human right of free speech.

I applaud their decision and hope other companies have enough balls to follow suit.