Backfiring Gmail April Fools’ Gag Allegedly Lost People Jobs

Google’s Gmail April Fools’ Day prank has earned the wrath of users after its new, jokey feature landed some people in hot water, some even losing jobs over it. This morning, Gmail introduced a secondary reply button, dubbed the ‘mic drop’. Replying to an e-mail with this button sent a gif of a Minion performing said task – a shorthand for a deliberate, abrupt end to a conversation – and hid any following replies.

“Email’s great, but sometimes you just wanna hit the eject button,” an announcement on the Gmail blog reads. “Like those heated threads at work, when everyone’s wrong except you (obviously). Or those times when someone’s seeking group approval, but your opinion is the only one that matters (amirite?). Or maybe you just nailed it, and there’s nothing more to say (bam).”

“Today, Gmail is making it easier to have the last word on any email with Mic Drop,” the post continues. “Simply reply to any email using the new ‘Send + Mic Drop’ button. Everyone will get your message, but that’s the last you’ll ever hear about it. Yes, even if folks try to respond, you won’t see it.”

The ‘mic drop’ button, however, was placed right next to the regular ‘reply’ button, which meant that some unfortunate users – often using Gmail for professional means – accidentally pressed the gag button to send their replies. Some of the resulting horror stories – recounting tales of embarrassment, or even loss of jobs – are listed on the Google Gmail product forum:

“I had to write another email and apologize for Google’s jokes!!!!! Why should I? Sometimes I do feel those very intelligent people are living on an isolated island and don’t know what normal people need and want! They think they are genius when creating this but in normal people’s eyes, they are very idiotic!”

“This mic drop is perhaps the most stupid thing you could possibly come up with. I have been interviewing with this company for 3 months now and mistakenly sent the email directly to guess who? The HR! Why would you do that? I so want this job; was due to start on Monday!”

“I just sent off an email with my resume to the first person who wanted to interview me in months.  I clicked the wrong button and sent it with the mic drop.  Well, I guess I’m not getting that job. Words cannot describe how pissed off I am right now.  I’m actually shaking.  One click, ONE CLICK and I lost the job.  Goddamnit.  Not funny, google.  I’m going to go cry now.” 

Now, whether the comments themselves are April Fools’ jokes is another matter. Google, though, took them seriously and pulled the ‘mic drop’ button early. “Well, it looks like we pranked ourselves this year,” an update to the blog post reads. “Due to a bug, the Mic Drop feature inadvertently caused more headaches than laughs. We’re truly sorry. The feature has been turned off. If you are still seeing it, please reload your Gmail page.”

Skull Emoji Appears in Gmail Due to Unusual Bug

Gmail scared some of its users around the world Yesterday. A small emoji skull and crossbones appeared in the bottom left corner of their browser screen.

The skull worried a number of users due to its displaying of messages such as “Component Spy”,  “Mole Component”,  “Spy Data” and other worrying text. Weirdly, the skull was not present on all accounts, with users possessing multiple accounts reporting the skull only appearing in one of them. Nor was a change in browser able to free users from the skull’s reign of fear, with reports of its presence in Firefox, Chrome and Edge. The skull only seemed absent in the HTML version of the Gmail site.

As usual, theories on the origin of the skull were rampant on the Gmail help forums, ranging from a hack or breach on certain Gmail accounts, unsubtle spyware and even a bizarre plan to find new Google developers. Although, why any of these would use a skull image is unknown.

In the end, the problem was more mundane. The skull belongs to one of Google’s internal debuggers, which appears when flagging bugs, errors in code or email functionality. In a way, you could say that the skull was a bug in a debugger. The result is that Google will have to debug their debugger. At least Gmail users can rest easy that, spooky as it is, the skull poses no threat to their emails.

Gmail to Warn Users About Unencrypted Emails

In recent years, Google has been working hard to improve privacy and security on their services, with the majority of emails sent and received on Gmail now being encrypted. However, to Google, this is not enough, and there are still large volumes of emails that are sent unencrypted. To keep their users safer and more aware of their privacy, Google plans to implement warnings for its users about any unencrypted mail they receive.

For a long time, emails were generally sent unencrypted, which left them open to interception and snooping of their contents. In the world we now live in, where safety and security online are almost constantly under threat, this is no longer acceptable. And while email providers can do little to ensure the safety and trustworthiness of emails they receive, is would be unreasonable to discard unencrypted emails that were received as until encryption is a required standard, it could cause users to lose important mail. And while unencrypted mail itself cannot harm a user or their privacy, the rise of techniques such as setting up malicious DNS servers to snoop on and redirect email to the attackers.

Google’s step to ensure users are aware of any emails they receive are unencrypted is a step in the right direction. It allows users to take care around unencrypted mail, as they have no assurance that its contents are private or unaltered. I will certainly sleep easier being aware of my email security and knowing which could be at risk.

Google’s study on trends in email security can be found here.

Gmail Now Integrates Useful ‘Block’ Button

Gmail has finally implemented a long-overdue feature which allows you to block “disruptive” senders and automatically divert their message into a spam folder. The tool was launched yesterday for Web users and should arrive on Android devices a few days later. Google also announced an ‘unsubscribe’ button to opt out of mailing lists without having to navigate to the sender’s website. A spokesperson for Google said in a blog post:

“Sometimes you get mail from someone who’s really disruptive. Hopefully it doesn’t happen often—but when it does, you should be able to say, Never see messages from this person again.”

“That’s why you can now block specific email addresses in Gmail—starting today on the web, and over the next week on Android. Future mail will go to the spam folder (and you can always unblock in Settings).”

To block any sender, all you have to do is click the ‘More’ drop-down menu and select ‘Block’ or ‘Unsubscribe’. This makes it remarkably simple to enable either of these functions but difficult enough so you can’t click it by accident. With the huge amount of spam e-mails, phishing scams, and abuse messages, this should have been implemented a long time ago. Thankfully, this should allow you to clean up your inbox and live a less stressful working environment.

Thank you DigitalTrends for providing us with this information.

Gmail Now Officially Supports ‘Undo Send’ Feature.

The convenience of instant, permanent communication via e-mail is a technological marvel but one which has caused an abundance of embarrassing moments. Whether you’ve accidentally sent your spouse’s sister a romantic e-mail or insulted business contacts in a drunken rage, it’s difficult to forget each moment of shame. Thankfully, these cringeworthy escapades can become a thing of the past providing your able to click ‘Undo Send’ within 10 seconds. This time period can also be extended to 30 seconds which helps you to deliberate about the message content. However, this doesn’t help users who are blind drunk at the time and require at least a 24 hour to 5 month period to remember even sending the e-mail.

By default, the ‘Undo Send’ command is disabled unless you are involved in the Google Labs programme. To enable this feature, simply navigate to the cog just below your Google account picture and click settings. Ensure the general tab is active and manually check the ‘Undo Send’ function.

I do find it rather perplexing that it has taken over 6 years for this vital Gmail component to be official supported and presume most power users are already familiar with it using Google Labs. The question remains if the average user will be aware of the added functionality and how often it’s utilized.

Let us know your most embarrassing e-mail blunders and we promise not to judge.

NASA Patches Curiosity Rover’s Chem Cam from 235 Million Miles Away

As if the people at NASA haven’t been doing enough awesome stuff lately they just did one insanely long distance software upgrade. The Curiosity rover just got the auto-focus of its “Chem Cam” improved with an update while it is wandering around Mars.

In case you forgot Mars is currently 2.53au (astronomical units) away, which translates into 235.1 million miles away. The scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory previously took nine pictures of each sample at a different focus in attempt to get one usable photo. All of those nine pictures of the soil and rocks would be transmitted back to NASA. Now after the update the rover actually still takes the same amount of photos, but now it will self-analyze those nine photos for the one with the best focus. This update that brings about a very useful new feature, as it only comes in at 40 kilobytes. Engadget points out that that is lighter than the last Android Gmail update.

It is great to see NASA continuing to amaze us with the Curiosity rover’s journey across the surface of Mars. The mission to find out if Mars can support life has been very interesting to watch, but they still have so much more work to do.

Thank you Engadget.com for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Three Spammers Accused of Largest Data Breach in History

The US Department of Justice has charged three men with what could be the biggest data breach in the history of the internet. The three spammers are accused of stealing billions of e-mail addresses from the databases of e-mail service providers. Two of the men, Giang Hoang Vu and Viet Quoc Nguyen, are Vietnamese citizens residing in the Netherlands, while the third, David-Manuel Santos Da Silva, is Canadian.

A statement from Assistant Attorney General Caldwell read: “These men… are accused of carrying out the largest data breach of names and email addresses in the history of the Internet. The defendants allegedly made millions of dollars by stealing over a billion email addresses from email service providers.”

The three men targeted the largest e-mail providers in the world, including Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Hotmail. Considering the scope of the operation and the volume of addresses accrued, it is quite likely that someone reading this has had their e-mail address stolen by these spammers. Only addresses were gathered, though: no passwords were compromised during the data breach.

Santos Da Silva is alleged to have laundered money that Hoang Vu and Quoc Nguyen earned through their spamming through his website, marketbay.com. Da Silva and Hoang Vu have been arrested, but Quoc Nguyen remains at large. Huoang Vu has pleaded guilty to computer fraud.

Source: Cyber Kendra

Sharing Dropbox Files in Gmail Now Easier Thanks to Chrome Extension

Big user of Dropbox?  Well thanks to a new Chrome extension, it is now easier to share Dropbox files in Gmail. The extension is only in beta stages, but works similarly to adding files from Google Drive.  Simply select the file with the Dropbox menu will attach it, and add a link to the body.  Just like adding a file from Google Drive, this allows for sharing of larger files than Gmail’s attachment limit.

 

Source: Engadget

Google Rolls Out Money Attachments for Gmail in the UK

Google’s ‘Attach money’ feature for Gmail, launched in the US back in 2013, is now being rolled out to UK account holders. The feature transfers funds through e-mail from the user’s Google Wallet account.

Launched in 2011, Google Wallet is a pre-paid mobile payment service that can be linked to a user’s credit card or debit card. Payments for goods and services can be made for online purchases that accept Google Wallet payments, or even in shops that offer NFC transactions via smartphone.

In a blog post announcing the UK launch, Google said, “We’re excited to make this feature available for Gmail users in the UK. ‘This means people in the UK will now be able to quickly and securely send money to friends and family in the UK directly within desktop Gmail.”

Source: Technodrum

Gmail Begins Appearing Back in China

We only reported yesterday that Gmail had disappeared in China, but it looks like Chinese Gmail users are getting access to their accounts once again, after a huge four-day outage.

Google’s own Transparency Report shows that there is a slight jump in traffic, but it is nowhere near what it was on, and before Christmas Day. The Chinese government has been blaming Google, while Google has been blaming the Chinese government – in a tit-for-tat fight over why Google’s infamous e-mail service went down in the country.

Source: TechSpot.

Gmail Has Been Blocked in China

Google’s popular email service, Gmail, has finally been blocked in China. GreatFire.org says that China’s ‘Great Firewall’ had finally kept citizens from accessing the service altogether, after months of incomplete attempts at blocking it.

It’s said that the service was blocked on Friday, with users completely unable to get in. The news comes following evidence of intermittent blocking over the past number of months, but throughout users have been able to access their accounts in some form or another. Reuters says that many could still receive their mail “via protocols like IMAP, SMTP and POP3” using email clients on smartphones and PCs.

China’s ‘Great Firewall’ has been a great source of controversy in the country regarding freedom of speech. The ruling Communist Party has always utilised its web blocking power to prevent the spread of dissident messages in opposition of their rule. They’ve also sought to prevent the rise and dominance of Western companies like Google, in an effort to give Chinese equivalents, like Baidu and Alibaba, the edge.

Source: Reuters

Google Inbox to Support Custom e-Mail Addresses

The main complaint about Google Inbox – Google’s new Gmail app that displays related incoming message as ‘bundles’ – is that it doesn’t support custom e-mail addresses. On Wednesday, however, the Gmail Inbox Team, during a Reddit AMA, announced that custom address functionality, as part of its Google Apps support, is on its way, but no release date for the feature was given. The AMA response read:

Supporting these accounts comes with other demands and we’re working hard on addressing them so we can get Inbox to Google Apps users.

We were pleasantly surprised to see how open-minded Inbox users are to making big changes to their work email workflow, and the high demand for Inbox on Google Apps accounts has already caused us to speed up our efforts to bring Inbox to all of you. Hang tight!

The team also assured Reddit users that support for browsers other than Chrome was on its way.

Source: TechCrunch

E-Mail Startup Acompli Acquired by Microsoft

Startup e-mail app Acompli has been snapped up Microsoft. The moves surprised no one, since news of the deal accidentally leaked last week when a blog draft with the url http://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2014/11/25/microsoft-acquires-acompli/, written by Microsoft Vice President Rajesh Jha, turned up on RSS feeds.

Acompli’s free e-mail app, for iOS and Android devices, has garnered many positive reviews since its release earlier this year. It supports Gmail and Microsoft Exchange integration – which likely brought the app to the attention of its new owner – as well as Dropbox, iCloud, and OneDrive.

Source: engadget

Get An Invite into Google’s Inbox App – Be Quick

So you’ve probably heard about Google’s new Inbox application, it’s a new cross-platform app that works for Gmail. Inbox automatically highlights important emails, allows you to sift through them with a clean and intuitive interface and tries to remove all of the clutter that surrounds most inbox’s. The application thus far has been invite only, however for today between the hours of 3PM and 4PM PT if you email Google at inbox@google.com – Google promises that you’ll receive an invite by 5PM PT.

We’re hoping Google’s servers are able to hold onto the influx of emails that will be coming their way, as obviously with any major order back-end servers take an incredible hit. We have confidence that Google will be able to hold down the fort so to speak. Inbox allows for easy and streamlined managing of your Gmail, and automatically looks for important messages and sends them to the top of your inbox – things like flight details, bills, or shipping and tracking information for packages. Whilst the news today is fantastic for those looking on-board, some people are as always unfortunately going to miss out – and there’s still no specific word on when we can expect to see the invite only limitations lifted off of Google’s Inbox application.

5 Million Gmail Passwords and Usernames Leaked

First Apple had their iCloud fiasco, and now the business giant Google has seen 5 million of its users have their usernames and passwords published online.

The evidence of this has been seen on Russian forum boards, incorporating a comprehensive list of all the people affected and are now seencirculating around file sharing websites. But according to Google, this issue is not due to a direct leak of Gmail services, with experts claiming that this list was most likely compromised over a long period of time with the information being stolen from other websites.

Thanks to The Next Web, we were able to read the direct statement from a Google spokesperson which reads:

We have no evidence that our systems have been compromised, but whenever we become aware that accounts may have been, we take steps to help those users secure their accounts.”

Since the leak, the forum linked above has purged the passwords in the original text file, with only the login information remaining. But, if you’re a cyber-criminal looking to take advantage of the situation, the original poster claims that at least 60% of the uncovered account passwords are valid and functional.

We suggest that you change your password just to be safe – and don’t go searching for the document yourself as you never know what you’ll find. Google also suggests you enable their 2-step verification process.

Image courtesy of Create New Gmail Account

Gmail Scan Leading to Man’s Arrest Was Not a Privacy Violation

The news from earlier this week, where the scanning of a man’s Gmail account had led to his arrest for child abuse and pornography, sparked quiet the stir in the on-line community. Big brother is watching you and other conspiracy theories started to flourish, as so often when Google is in the news.

Even with the normal mail scanning by Google used to provide you with the most likely ads you’d click, there isn’t any real person sitting somewhere reading your mails and are watching your photos. These are all fully automated systems that work on their own. Looking for keywords to match up an advertisement for you.

But it wasn’t even that system that was in use here, neither was it some big NSA sponsored “tag all crimes” script. Google used an automated PhotoDNA process designed specific to detect child abuse images.

The most used PhotoDNA system is created by Microsoft and converts an image into a common black-and-white format before uni-forming the size. The technology then divides the image into squares and assigns a numerical value that represents the unique shading found within each square. Combining those gets you the “PhotoDNA signature” of an image file. That unique signature can then be used in comparison with other images.

The technology grew out of a partnership between Microsoft, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and Dartmouth College. In 2009, Microsoft donated PhotoDNA to NCMEC to aid in the fight against child exploitation.

Microsoft today uses the technology on Bing, Outlook.com and its cloud storage service to identify child abuse images and stop them from being redistributed on-line. When there is a signature match, it is also reported to the NCMEC and Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). In 2012 a partnership with law enforcement agencies was begun, to integrate the system into theirs as well.

However, in this particular case of the Houston arrest, PhotoDNA was not involved, although from what we’re hearing, something similar was. The above however explains how the system works.

Like with everything, Google has its own hashing technology which is uses to detect sexual abuse images. Google, Microsoft and other technology companies however share technology like this to combat this sort of illegal activity. PhotoDNA may not have been the one to find it in this case, it is what laid the foundation for the technology used.

So it is important to remember that Google isn’t playing law and order inside your inbox, it is an automated detection system that looks specifically for child pornography and is part of a large international effort to remove this filth from the internet.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of TechCrunch and Google

Leaked Image Shows Massive Overhaul of Gmail

An image has leaked online showing that Google is planning a massive overhaul of the Gmail service. Google are no stranger to running betas and trials, constantly tweaking and updating their services to try and stay ahead of the game, but this one certainly stands out as it’s radically different compared to the current design of their webmail service.

The leaked image shows off a simple looking interface, with a cleaned up inbox design that focuses more on the email, matching up with the leaked images of the new mobile Gmail interface. Labels are hidden in a menu at the top left, while a new button on the lower right reveals a menu with actions that users can perform such as setting reminders and composing emails. Stars have gone, or at least been renamed “pins” and the inbox appears to have a snooze feature for email reminders.

The current Gmail design has been in use for a few years now, but it looks like development has already progressed quite far, so expect more news on a rollout in the coming weeks, perhaps at Google IO.

Thankyou TheNextWeb for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Geek.

Gmail Add More Features To Fight Junkmail

Fed up of getting a constant stream of marketing mails, are you unable to find the unsubscribe link in the email, or maybe you just keep putting off removing your name from the mailing lists? Well don’t worry, it looks like Google have got a solution for Gmail users that will make it as simple as one click to throw out the trash from your email folders.

Starting this week a new unsubscribe link will appear in the top header field in marketing emails. Some small percentage of users will have already had this feature, but it will now be made available to the Gmail masses automatically as Google roll out the updates.

“One of the biggest problems with the Gmail spam filter is identifying unwanted mail or soft spam,” said Google’s Vijay Eranti, who heads anti-abuse efforts at Gmail.

There is a big difference between clicking spam and unsubscribe, especially since clicking spam will flag the sender in Googles database as a spammer, so using the new unsubscribe button for genuine mail that you no longer want is important, everything else should get the spam hammer.

Hardly the biggest news of the day I’ll admit, but so many times I’ve gotten a junk email from a mailing list simply because I’m too lazy to sort through them all and unsubscribe, even today I still get mail old mailing lists that I no longer want, promotional campaigns are more, so maybe this will encourage me to limit the amount of garbage through my own email address.

Thank you IT world for providing us with this information.

Google’s Gmail Performs Magic Tricks, Deletes Random User Emails

We had Google Services down for more than 30 minutes, randomly selected email addresses pasted in the “To” field when searching Gmail on Google’s Search Engine, and now we hear that there are even more problems cropping up on Google’s services, namely Gmail (again).

A recent Gmail bug has been uncovered, as The Verge reports, which results in some users accidentally deleting emails and reporting others as spam when applying the latter actions on other selected emails. Google has made a statement and told that the issue has been present in a software update on just a few platforms.

The iOS application, mobile browsers and the offline version of Gmail experienced the above mentioned issue, although the company giant currently states it has since fixed it. A notice has been sent to user urging them to have a look at their spam/trash folders for misplaced emails. It is currently unclear how many users have been affected by the ‘disappearing act’ issue.

Things are not looking up for Google, having its error ‘mysteriously’ repaired itself, sending random e-mails when clicking Gmail related links, filling up people’s e-mail addresses with hundreds of empty emails, and now deleting and sending random emails to the bin or respectively marking them as junk.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of The Verge

Google Services Go Down For 50 Minutes? What Next, The Internet?

Today, Google’s Gmail and Google+ services has been down for roughly 50 minutes. Reports from Europe, Canada, India, United States and other countries confirm that it was a worldwide phenomenon which affected a lot of users, including companies, from big to small.

Whoever tried to access Gmail or Google+ would be greeted with an “Error 500” code, which indicated a temporary problem but not the cause. The 500 code error in browsers represents the service is temporarily out-of-order and points primarily to the server or servers in use. The Google+ outage also has reportedly affected some YouTube comments working on the new system by not loading them when viewing YouTube videos.

Attempting to access the Gmail box through an external client such as Outlook or Thunderbird, or even from your mobile phone, both through POP and IMAP did not help as well. Also, it is said that Google’s Site Reliability Engineering team was also performing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit when the issue started to occur, not exactly the right time to do something like this it seems. We all know what happened next.

Google named it as a “disruption” in its Gmail services and promised to fix it as soon as possible. Well, the services went online for a brief period after the issues started to appear, but went down again, only to start going back online 50 minutes later. Currently, not all services are fully functional worldwide and nobody knows exactly when they will be. You can check the services’ status on Google’s Apps Status Dashboard here. Google officials did not release any more information regarding what caused the outage, and most likely will never comment on the exact cause of the problems.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of

The NSA Is Collecting Your Email And Messaging Contacts, In Addition To The Messages

We already know the NSA collect electronic data on almost every aspect of people’s life, whether that data collection is justified or even legal is a another debate altogether. The latest revelation from the Washington Post suggests that the they also collect your address books and contact lists in many online services too. The slides revealed show that Yahoo Messenger is the biggest target followed by Hotmail, Gmail, Facebook and then other services. Of the nearly 700,000 address books the NSA is able to grab data on it says it can attribute 13.8% of those to people.

The NSA conducts these address book grabs on foreign soil in an effort to bypass laws that require them to screen out American citizens. By doing it on foreign soil they can collect data on everyone, including Americans. The revelations have somewhat damaged the credibility of Yahoo as it doesn’t normally require users to have SSL encryption on its web mail and messaging services. From January 8th Yahoo will play catch up to Google and Facebook in offering encryption as standard in an effort to tighten security against dragnet surveillance. Of course encryption doesn’t prevent the NSA from finding a way in but it makes their job a lot harder.

Image courtesy of The Washington Post

‘ScareMail’ Browser Extension Seeks To Confuse And Overload NSA Monitoring Systems

Benjamin Grosser, a software developer from Illinois, has developed something he has called Scaremail – a browser extension he claims will foil, or at least damage, the NSA’s surveillance attempts. By now we all know that the NSA actively monitors all emails and online chats in the USA and across the world, trying to filter out key buzzwords like “Al-Qaeda”, “hostage”, “bomb” and so on. Scaremail is browser extension that plays on this list of “selector” terms used by the NSA in its Xkeyscore monitoring program. Scaremail works with Gmail to insert selector terms randomly into emails and chat messages, which get sent to yourself.

Grosser claims to have used leaked documents to compile a full list of selector terms used by the NSA and integrate this into his Scaremail program. An example of one of the sentences he developed includes:

“Captain Beatty failed on his Al-Shabaab, hacking relentlessly about the fact to phish this far, and strand her group on the wall-to-wall in calling suspicious packages”

The result is that each randomly generated sentences includes so many selector terms it will automatically notify the NSA’s filters several times and draw their attention towards it. Scaremail took him around 3 weeks to build and he hopes if enough people use it will totally overload the NSA’s surveillance system that is based on the monitoring of key selector words.

Benjamin Grosser explains that the “ability to use whatever words we want is one of our most basic freedoms, yet the NSA’s growing surveillance of electronic speech threatens our first amendment rights… ScareMail reveals one of the primary flaws of the NSA’s surveillance efforts: words do not equal intent.”

See more details on his Scaremail project here.

Image courtesy of Benjamin Grosser

Google Web Traffic Accounts For 5% Of All Internet Traffic In The UK

Google is a large part of the internet, but really how large is it? According to The Telegraph, Google websites are over 5 percent of web traffic in the UK, in short 1 out of every 20 websites visited are Google-owned.

Google Chrome, Google’s web browser turned 5 years old a month ago. The web browser is available for Windows, MacOSX and Linux, as well as both Android and iOS. Though I was not able to find any numbers on how many people use Google Chrome opposed to other web browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer; I would assume that Google Chrome has the majority of users.

As for their search engine, there are a few other search engines. Personally I use Google for my searches, I like the format, it is simple to use, and I am usually able to find exactly what I am looking for in just a few seconds. Though some of you may use Yahoo or Bing instead of Google, Google is perhaps the most used.

Google owns many of the websites that we visit every day: Blogger, GoogleDrive, Google Play, Google+, Google Maps, Google.com, Gmail, YouTube, and Google.co.uk.

Google is in so many different parts of the electronics market that it would be hard for someone to not know who they are. They are perhaps even the largest electronics based company with a head count just shy of 45,000 employees. I can only assume that they will continue to grow as they acquire more businesses and come out with new products. Though it looks like they have terminated over 10,000 employees after their Motorola acquisition.

 

Do you use Google.com as your search engine, or you their other products, let us know in the comments below.

Thank you to The Telegraph  for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Dailymail

Cue Acquired By Apple To Take On Google

It is nothing new for Apple to acquire new companies, therefore personal assistant ‘Cue’ is the latest “victim” that the Cupertino giant has targeted, and this is to be good news for iOS users. The good news comes is due to many of the features offered by ‘Cue’ mimic those of Google Now. Nothing is sure if the features provided by ‘Cue’ will be implemented into the new Apple tech, but anything is possible, we need only see it in time.

Cue essentially aggregates data from social networks and otherwise (Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) to present relevant information at the relevant time for you. Flight bookings and hotel reservations are also included, and Cue has been offering these features before Google Now was officially introduced. You might soon see your daily calendars get populated automatically in iOS 7, but that’s far away from now.

On its website, Cue said it is shutting down its service and issuing refunds to paid customers, but did not offer much in the way of explanation. Cue began life as mobile search company Greplin, before changing names and shifting to the personal assistant arena.

“We appreciate all of the support from you, our users, as Cue has grown over the last few years,” Cue said. “However, the Cue service is no longer available.”

It also said no data was being transferred to another party and that all information it had has been deleted.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause you,” the company said.

The deal value is said to be upward of $40 million, up to around $60 million, though that figure may include earnouts or other incentive pay.

Thank you NextPowerUp and AllTHingsD for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of NextPowerUp.

Google Faces Fresh New Lawsuit Over Gmail Scanning Saga

The Herald Sun reports that Google is facing another lawsuit because of the way it scans the content of emails received by its Gmail users. Google does this so that it may more effectively calculate and target which advertisements to place in that person’s inbox and around that person’s Google account & services.

The plaintiffs claim that Google “unlawfully opens up, reads, and acquires the content of people’s private email messages” in violation of California’s privacy laws and even federal wire-tapping laws. Google on the other hand believes that “all users of email must necessarily expect that their emails will be subject to automated processing.” The judge for case Lucy Koh has indicated that she could terminate the case or schedule a fully fledged trial for it next year. There’s no telling which way the decision might go.

Google claims its privacy policy informs users that the Gmail service scans all incoming emails but Judge Koh questioned this stating “Why wouldn’t you just say ‘the content of your emails?'” when discussing the clarity of the privacy policy. Google believes that because the process is fully automated and no human actually reads your emails then no laws are being broken.

Image courtesy of Google