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Google said Tuesday that it means to buy Norway's publicly traded VoIP codec house Global IP Solutions Holding AB (GIPS) for $68.2 million cash, a move that could put it in contention with Skype not to mention the telecom companies that are selling its phones. The deal, which represents a 27.5% premium over GIPs' closing price Friday, will also give Google ownership of parts of the technology underlying the instant messaging systems used by Yahoo, AOL and Baidu. Global IP Solutions makes the real-time processing software for voice and video calls over the Internet, widgetry used by IBM's Lotus Sametime as well as Cisco's WebEx scheme under a shiny new deal. Google already owns Gizmo5, a California VoIP start-up it bought late last year for a reported $30 million, and runs Google Talk and Google Voice. It also offers video and voice chat on Gmail. Google hasn't said... (more)

Introducing CloudBerry Explorer for Google Storage

Google Storage for Developers is a RESTful service for storing and accessing your data on Google's infrastructure. The service combines the performance and scalability of Google's cloud with advanced security and sharing capabilities. Following the Google’s announcement CloudBerry Lab decided to support Google Storage in their CloudBerry Explorer product line. CloudBerry Explorer for Google Storage will have all of the functionality of CloudBerry S3 Explorer taking into account Google Storage specifics. Google Storage is currently in private beta but if you are one of those lucky individuals who got an invitation you can now work with your storage using CloudBerry Explorer. Note: CloudBerry Explorer for Google Storage is currently in beta. You get your Access and Secret key on the Key Management section of Google Storage website:     You register your Google ... (more)

Google To Show Off ‘ChromeBook’

Google is supposed to unveil a beta Chrome OS on a generic Atom-based netbook Tuesday and put the Google-branded thing into limited circulation in the run-up to a commercial product next year. Reportedly no more than 65,000 of this first-stab widget will be made as an appeal to developers. Google missed the netbook wave, which receded with the tablet onslaught and it’s questionable whether the Chrome cloud device can revive it. Chrome OS doesn’t have the touchscreen facilities needed for a tablet. Anyway Google’s got Android for tablets. The Chrome widget is expected to need the services of the anticipated Chrome Web Store if it’s to have anything to run since everything supposed to be done in the cloud. Presumably Google might have something to say about Internet access and carriers. Google was originally supposed to have a commercial product out from mainline OE... (more)

Okta Seeks to Accelerate Secure Adoption of Cloud Apps

"Enterprises everywhere are realizing the inherent benefits of running their core IT services in the cloud,” said Todd McKinnon, most recently VP of Engineering at Salesforce.com from 2003 to 2009, and now CEO of the on-demand identity and access management service, Okta. "This shift fundamentally requires them to rethink their IT infrastructure and how their employees access it," McKinnon added. "Okta," he continued, "is the only enterprise class, on-demand service purpose built to help customer secure and manage their entire cloud services network and the people who need access to it, with no professional services required." McKinnon was commenting on the day that he and his team launched a new on-demand service to accelerate the secure adoption of Cloud Apps. Pandora, LiveOps, Enterasys, FusionStorm, and AMAG Pharmaceuticals are the first to roll out Okta identity... (more)

China Gives Google-Motorola Merger Conditional OK

China's antitrust regulators gave Google's $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility the nod Saturday provided Google's Android operating system remains open and free-of-charge for the next five years. The "free" stipulation apparently doesn't apply to applications or services, but it remains to be seen how that works out. Google will have to report about its compliance with the terms to a Chinese monitor. "At the end of the five years, the Ministry of Commerce will continue to assess the state of the Chinese smartphone operating system market," the agency said on its web site. Google's relationship with China has been tense since it moved its Chinese search operation to Hong Kong complaining of censorship. There's also the little matter of China reportedly hacking its computers and stealing its secrets. China was the last approval the giant deal needed so it m... (more)

Google’s Project Glass: An Augmented Reality Head-mounted Display

If you saw a person walk down the street with a small monitor over one of their eyes, seemingly talking to themselves, would you think you had just stepped into a Doctor Who plot where the Cybermen were taking over our minds one by one? Where’s the Doctor when you need him? Don’t worry, this isn’t a science fiction plot. The brilliant minds at Google have been working on an augmented reality head-mounted display these past few years so that such a sight could possibly become a natural occurrence. Dubbed “Project Glass,” Google has intended to bring us to the next level of hands free technology which incorporates all the expectations of modern smartphone users, including voice commands, into a single pair of eyeglasses. Although the idea for a display like this has been discussed for a while, this seems to be the first large scale project ready for roll-out. Its pr... (more)

Google Buzz May Violate Wiretap Laws: EPIC

Google Buzz on Ulitzer Introduced last week Google's Facebook / Twitter-like Buzz social networking widgetry, untested outside the company and put in Gmail as a default, immediately raised a privacy hullabaloo over the idea that a list of the people Gmail users communicated with the most would be automatically shared with a Google-created network of their friends and who knows who else. Silly Google. It must have no secret lovers, abusive ex-husbands or politically incorrect friends best not known to each other or Big Brother. So far the company's apologized at least once, changed the thing twice, set up a "war room" to monitor reactions and contemplate further changes like creating a standalone Buzz, not integrated with Gmail, besides the one tied to Gmail. Meanwhile, CEO Eric Schmidt was denying from the mobile show in Spain that anybody's personal information wa... (more)

Is Google the Next Evil Empire?

Google Session at Cloud Expo The news last week that Italian authorities have convicted three Google executives with criminal privacy violations got my attention for two reasons. One, the charges are based on a video that shows an autistic boy being bullied, a video that Google did not create or post. It was filmed by cell cameras and posted more than three years ago, and indeed one of the executives has since retired from Google. Two, none of the three live or work in Italy, and a fourth executive – a product manager – was acquitted. We truly live in a global village, and one in which the legal operations move slower and slower. As someone who was bullied as a child, I get this, although not sure that justice really was served here. This case comes on top of the company’s missteps with Buzz, where it had to alter the default privacy settings after a rather embarrass... (more)

Google China Has Called the Movers: Reports

Google's reportedly admitting that it's met somebody that's bigger, tougher and even more dominance-minded than it is, namely the Chinese government, which isn't going to let a little thing like Google leaving the country come between it and a censored Internet. Whatever talks Google has had with the Chinese government have apparently gone nowhere. The Financial Times has it from "a person familiar with the company's thinking" that Google is 99.9% certain to shut down its Chinese search engine and has drawn up a detailed evacuation plan. The Chinese government, meanwhile, in a "here's your hat what's your hurry" public warning Friday told Google that if it imagines it can run an uncensored search engine even for a moment, well then, "that would be unfriendly, that would be irresponsible, and they would have to bear the consequences." The New York Times says the go... (more)

Google To Kill Direct Google Phone Sales

Having alienated carriers like Sprint and Verizon by trying to sell its Android-based Nexus One phone direct to the consumer from its google.com/phone online store - Google's attempt to change the traditional cell phone sales model - it's killing the four-month-old store, describing it as merely "niche channel for early adopters," meaning its sales have been paltry. It swears it's because "many customers like a hands-on experience before buying a phone, and they also want a wide range of service plans to chose from." Google was trying to sell a Nexus One for $529 without a contract or a subsidized $179 with a two-year T-Mobile contract. T-Mobile was the only carrier to back Google's play. Although Verizon and Sprint canceled their Nexus One phones earlier this month, Google says it's going to push the HTC-made Nexus One through other people's retail stores and u... (more)

Pause Your Google History

Have you ever used your Google search history? If you are logged into any Google service, Google automatically keeps a history of your search queries ad web activities. According to Google, Web History allows the following: View and manage your web activity. You know that great web site you saw online and now can’t find? From now on, you can. With Web History, you can view and search across the full text of the pages you’ve visited, including Google searches, web pages, images, videos and news stories. You can also manage your web activity and remove items from your web history at any time. Get the search results most relevant to you. Web History helps deliver more personalized search results based on the things you’ve searched for on Google and the sites you’ve visited. You might not notice a big impact on your search results early on, but they should steadily impr... (more)