Are you concerned about Google security? Welcome to the fold.
Google’s ambitions of becoming an enterprise productivity suite powerhouse has a hurdle to overcome: security issues. The challenge? Convincing businesses that moving away from Microsoft’s suite of applications to Google’s e-mail, calendering, document sharing and chat applications will ensure privacy and security.
Nikesh Arora, Google’s president of global sales operations and business development, told TechCrunch Disrupt that Google hopes its Google Apps suite will be a billion dollar revenue stream in three to four years.
To mitigate these concerns, Google has released a white paper to give enterprise customers greater transparency into Google’s security practices, policies and technology involving Google Apps. And of course, the white paper is also intended to also assure current and potential clients of its “strong and extensive security infrastructure.”
Google has even created a special portal about privacy and security for the educational institutions that use Apps.
Meanwhile, amid growing controversy over Google’s admission that its Street View cars had taken photos in more than 30 countries and gathered personal data from unsecured Wi-Fi systems, Canada is now probing Google on its Wi-Fi spying, as Google begins handing over private data to European regulators it says was mistakenly gathered from wireless Internet connections.
According to a report in the Financial Times, Google would hand information initially to data protection authorities in Germany, where prosecutors have opened an investigation into the firm, and then in France and Spain.
In a bit of irony, Google says it will dump Windows due to security concerns. Google employs over 10,000 people worldwide. New hires are being given the choice of using Macs or Linux instead. This comes on the heels of a major intrusion by Chinese hackers into Google which occurred using an unprotected flaw in Internet Explorer 6. Earlier this year, Google announced it would discontinue dedicated support for Internet Explorer 6, leaving a fifth of its customers behind. Now it’s slowly purging Windows from its corporate IT infrastructure.
Said one employee, “We’re not doing any more Windows. It is a security effort. Many people have been moved away from [Windows] PCs, mostly towards Mac OS, following the China hacking attacks.”
Speaking of Macs, Apple boss Steve Jobs is defending a Chinese factory after ten of its employees committed suicide by jumping off the roof to their death. Jobs called the worker’s deaths “troubling” but insisted the factory “is not a sweatshop.”
“It’s a difficult situation,” he said. “We’re trying to understand right now, before we go in and say we know the solution. You go in this place and it’s a factory, but, my gosh, they’ve got restaurants and movie theaters and hospitals and swimming pools. For a factory, it’s pretty nice.”
Jobs made his comments at the All Things Digital conference, an annual gathering of A-list technology and media executives.
Foursquare blocked by Chinese
China has a long record of blocking social networks and websites to prevent users from sharing opinions that might be construed as anti-government. For example, the Tiananmen Square massacre is a sensitive subject.
On the 21st anniversary of the event last Friday, China blocked location-based social network Foursquare after users started “checking in” at Tiananmen Square. Foursquare allows users to alert followers of their physical location, info which also can be syndicated to Facebook or Twitter.
According to a report in Techblog86, a China-based site that first broke the news of China’s decision to block Foursquare, people who checked in from Tiananmen Square were leaving “sensitive comments” on the page for others to see. China’s censors saw this and decided to quell any protest by blocking the service.
Tick trekking: tracking ticks via satellite
NASA says the next time you go hiking through tall grass, you can tread with confidence that the Space Agency is tracking all those blood-sucking ticks via satellite. It’s part of a NASA-backed program at the University of Alabama where grad students are pioneering a new technique that uses satellite images of a national forest in Alabama to find areas where ticks are likely to thrive. The tiny arachnids like moist areas with lots of plant life. One of the program’s goals is to help people avoid ticks that cause disease.
So if NASA can put a man on the moon and track a tick in the forest, why is this woman suing Google after using its directions?
A map that tracks another type of tick – global terrorists and their acts
The Global Incident map shows where suspicious activity and terrorist acts are taking place. Its users include federal agencies, U.S. military organizations, law enforcement, Fortune 500 companies and people who want to stay informed. The real-time service is by paid subscription, but you can access incident data for free if you don’t mind that it’s delayed 24 to 48 hours.
Yahoo! plots HuffPo takeover
The Huffington Post is the biggest blog in the world, with 26 million unique visitors in April, according to comScore. Already bigger than NYTimes.com, HuffPo has expanded beyond politics to cover more than 20 different news categories, and it is embracing social networks as a way to drive pageviews through sharing. All this making it very attractive to news aggregator Yahoo, which is rumored to be courting the Huffpo in a bid to buy it.
Huffpo says it’s not for sale, but even if it was, buying the Huffington Post would not be cheap. It raised $25 million in December 2008, giving the company a $125 million valuation. Huffpo is on track to generate $60 million in revenues next year and $100 million in 2012. It still has cash in the bank and could turn profitable by early next year. With acquisition multiples, Yahoo would have to pay at least $360 million for HuffPo now, or much more a year from now.
AT&T kills unlimited data plans: Good for Smartphone, bad for iPad
Ouch! Are you an iPad owner? AT&T says it is ending the unlimited 3G data phones which could be problematic for iPad users. Several million of you bought them anticipating you’d be able to do a lot of data-intensive browsing. iPad users don’t have contracts; they’re allowed to purchase by the month. Who could blame them for feeling they’ve been hosed, given that AT&T seems to have waited until the first great wave of iPad buying ended.
iPad has a new app that had pro-life advocate and WorldNetDaily columnist Jill Stanek and radio and TV host Glenn Beck buzzing about last week. “Hello Baby” is a view from the womb.
Presented by the Pampers diaper folks, the app lets you experience your baby’s development in utero, with simulated life-size photos that allow you to “watch your baby grow” from week four to week 40. Enter your due date to track week-by-week progress and learn about the important changes happening.
Stanek writes about the implications this new app could have on women who are considering abortion. Watch a demonstration in this YouTube video.
The gift for someone who has everything
Impress your friends. Impress yourself with the ultimate tech status symbol. The diamond-studded model is a mere $50,000.
Present the gift at a dinner you arranged through Yelp, where you reserved your table while visiting the restaurant’s profile page.
The Gutenberg Press lives on
The books were previously published on paper by bona fide publishers and have now been digitized or recorded with the help of thousands of volunteers.
At Project Gutenberg, there’s no fee or registration required, but if you find PG useful, they ask you to donate a small amount so Project Gutenberg can continue to buy and digitize more books. Or you can lend your talent to help digitize more books or record audio books. Many of the books are read by humans. Others are read by a computer-generated voice.
Over 100,000 free books are available through partners, affiliates and resources, a number of them in many languages.
How do they do it?
“Our books are free in the United States because their copyright has expired,” PG says.
There’s more on Project Gutenberg’s site: sheet music, videos and pictures, even music files for music fans.
Because those who don’t know history are condemned to repeat it
1944 – D-Day, invasion of Normandy
1967 – Israel ends the Six-Day War
Now playing at the Princess Theater, Urbana, Ill.
Congratulations to WorldNetDaily reader Tom Cox of Charlotte, Tenn., who was among the first to correctly guess actor John Wayne’s portrayal of Sgt. John M. Stryker in the 1949, four-time Oscar nominated film The Sands of Iwo Jima, a dramatization of the World War II battle of Iwo Jima.
The movie quote was, “Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid.”
This week’s movie quote: “We did it, man. We did it, we did it. We’re rich, man. We’re retirin’ in Florida now, mister.”
Name the movie, the actor and the character. Send your answer to me at the email address below. Good luck!