Nest CEO tries to reassure customers about Google and privacy

Nest CEO Tony Fadell:

“The data we collect is all about our products and improving them,” Fadell said, reiterating a statement he issued about the company’s smart thermostat and smart smoke detector following the announcement of the acquisition. “If there were ever any changes whatsoever, we will be sure to be transparent about it, number one, and number two, for you to opt in to it.”

I’m not convinced. Google’s recent changes to Google+ show they are an opt-out company and could care less about their users.

“Absolutely evil”

Larry Ellison talking about Google’s Larry Page:

“We just think they took our stuff, and that was wrong,” Ellison said in an interview with Charlie Rose on “CBS This Morning,” which was aired on Tuesday.

When asked if he thought Page was evil, Ellison replied: “I think what they did was absolutely evil.” He fell short of vilifying the man himself as evil.

Google kills Latitude

Google Latitude will be retired on August 9th, 2013. Products being retired include Google Latitude in Google Maps for Android, Latitude for iPhone, the Latitude API, the public badge, the iGoogle Gadget, and the Latitude website at

What Gmail knows about you

When Google hands over e-mail records to the government, it includes basic envelope information, or metadata, that reveals the names and e-mail addresses of senders and recipients in your account. The feds can then mine that information for patterns that might be useful in a law-enforcement investigation.

There is no such thing as privacy on the Internet.

States criticize Google for selling ads for illegal products

In a letter sent to Google, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt complained about Google’s practice of placing before some YouTube videos advertisements for pharmacies willing to sell percocet and oxycontin without a prescription.

I imagine illegal products pay a high price for Google ads. It should be interesting to see how Google squirms out of this one.

Google’s PRISM denial

First, we have not joined any program that would give the U.S. government—or any other government—direct access to our servers. Indeed, the U.S. government does not have direct access or a “back door” to the information stored in our data centers. We had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday.

Given the way Google lies, this could be seen as confirmation of PRISM.

Google lies? Say it ain’t so

Apple lawyer Orin Snyder questioning Thomas Turvey, Google’s director of strategic partnerships in the e-book trial:

Things went downhill from there. Under Snyder’s questioning, Turvey acknowledged that he couldn’t remember a single name of any of the publishing executives who had told him Apple was the reason the publishers were switching their business model. He conceded that the publisher’s move to the agency system was important to Google’s own business, yet Turvey couldn’t remember any details about the conversations with publishers. By the end of the interview Turvey had gone from saying the publishers had told him directly, to saying they had merely told people on his team, to finally saying the publishers had “likely” told someone on his team.

Oh Google.

Google All Access music service coming to iOS

Jordan Kahn:

After launching its new Google Play All Access music streaming service earlier this month at Google I/O, Google’s head of Android Sundar Pichai just confirmed during his interview at the D11 conference that the service will be making its way to iOS. Sundar said the service would be available on iOS in the next few weeks.

This is going to get interesting.

Microsoft 1-0 Google

Remember how Google sent Microsoft that cease and desist letter because Microsoft made a YouTube app, but cut out the ads? Well, Larry Page went on stage at Google I/O preaching about how being “negative is not how we make progress,” and “not every new technology is zero-sum.”

Google revamps Maps

Eight years after Google launched Maps as a beta product, the search giant is reinventing the map for a new data rich web that lives on fast broadband, and runs on computers with oomph to spare.

Glad to see it.

Google’s All Access subscription music service

Jon Seff for Macworld:

Like Spotify and its ilk, All Access offers millions of tracks (although Google didn’t say how many millions, or which music labels for that matter) for streaming on Android phones and tablets, as well as from a Web browser. And in the process, Google has also taking a big swing at its Android app partners like Spotify, Rdio, and Rhapsody.

It seems suspicious to me that Google won’t tell us which music labels they have or how many songs they have. That immediately leads to the assumption that it’s not that good.

I’m not at all surprised that Google is taking a swing at its competitors. The third-party app developers and services are making money from Google’s operating system and users — it makes sense that Google would want to cash in on some of that.

Google shows off Chrome improvements

Turning back to the browser, Pichai said that Chrome now has 750 million active monthly users—an increase of 300 million users from last year. Much of that growth is happening on phones and tablets: Chrome works on both Android and iOS, and Pinchai stressed that its goal is to “move the mobile Web forward.”

It will be interesting to see what Google is going to do with Chrome, but I did see it as an operating system alternative right now.

Media companies demand Google pay for news

Portuguese media companies, struggling through the worst recession since the 1970s, are pressing Google to pay for content on its news search engine, echoing similar demands elsewhere in Europe.

I’m not sure I understand the demands by these media companies. Google links to the articles which should bring in traffic to the sites, enabling them to make money. I don’t see any ads on Google News, so it doesn’t appear they are making money from it.

Google Plus

The only country where Google+ is top of the social networking category is Albania.

What the hell is going on in Albania?


In December, the council unveiled its customary annual list of new Swedish words. Among the words that Swedes had begun using in 2012 was “ogooglebar” (‘ungoogleable’).

The California-based multinational soon got into a huff, asking the council to amend its definition. But the language experts refused to bow down to the demands, instead choosing a third option – removing the term all together.

Now Google is trying to control the words a country and its population can use? Really Google.

Trusting Google

Om Malik:

It is hard to trust Google anymore to make rational and consumer centric decisions. I said — nuanced as it might be — that I don’t trust Google to introduce new apps and keep them around, because despite what the company says, these apps are not their main business.

That’s how I feel.

Google Now has not been submitted to Apple

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said that Google Now has been submitted to the Apple’s App Store and is waiting for approval, but Apple’s says that’s not true.

Apple told me today Google Now has not been submitted at all.

Why would Schmidt lie about this? Besides the fact he’s Eric Schmidt and works for Google.

Google Maps chief steps down

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) continues to shuffle its executive ranks, announcing Senior Vice President of Geo and Commerce Jeff Huber will step down to pursue new projects within the company. The move follows just one day after longtime head of Android Andy Rubin also resigned his post.

This happened almost a week ago, but I missed it at the time.

No thanks Google

Om Malik on launching Google Keep after just killing Google Reader:

I spent about seven years of my online life on that service. I sent feedback, used it to annotate information and they killed it like a butcher slaughters a chicken. No conversation — dead. The service that drives more traffic than Google+ was sacrificed because it didn’t meet some vague corporate goals; users — many of them life long — be damned.

Looking from that perspective, it is hard to trust Google to keep an app alive.

I agree completely. How can Google expect users to trust them with an app when they could shut it down at any time. No thanks Google.