Inside the failure of Google+, a very expensive attempt to unseat Facebook

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Create a social network or risk everything.

That was the original pitch for Google’s Facebook rival, Google+, a refrain hammered over and over by the social network’s chief architect, Vic Gundotra, in meetings with the company’s top brass

Gundotra, described by colleagues we spoke with as charismatic and politically-savvy, eventually persuaded Larry Page, the Google cofounder who returned as CEO at the beginning of 2011 after a decade behind the scenes, to turn the company upside down for this cause.

“Vic was just this constant bug in Larry’s ear: ‘Facebook is going to kill us. Facebook is going to kill us,'” says a former Google executive. “I am pretty sure Vic managed to frighten Larry into action. And voila: Google+ was born.” Read more…

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Nest Cam is a dead easy way to monitor your home remotely

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The Nest Cam is the iPhone of Wi-Fi-connected security cameras. It just works.

When Google-owned Nest Labs acquired Dropcam and its Internet-connected security cameras and live video streaming service last year for $555 million cash, I knew immediately good things were coming.

The Nest Cam is basically a souped-up Dropcam Pro, but with a thinner and sleeker design, better imaging, even easier setup, and a built-in microphone so you can yell at your dog when you see it doing things it shouldn’t be doing while you’re out of the house. Read more…

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13 TechCrunch Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week

weekly roundup USE This week’s tech headlines saw the launch of Windows 10, Amazon’s new Product Hunt competitor, and Truecaller’s entrance into the unicorn club. These are the stories to catch you up on everything that’s happened this week in tech. Read More

Google Rejects French Watchdog Demand For Global Privacy Delistings

google sign Google said “non.” In a blog post, Global Privacy Counsel Peter Fleischer explained why Google wouldn’t comply with the French data protection watchdog demands. The CNIL wanted the American company to widen its implementation of the so-called European ‘right to be forgotten.’ In its current implementation, Google only delists results from the Google.fr subdomain,… Read More

Google Rejects French Order For ‘Right To Be Forgotten’

Last month, French data protection agency CNIL ordered Google to comply with the European “right to be forgotten” order by delisting certain search results not just on the European versions of Google’s search engine, but on all versions. Google has now publicly rejected that demand. CNIL has promised a response, and it’s likely the case will go before local courts. Google says,
This is a troubling development that risks serious chilling effects on the web. While the right to be forgotten may now be the law in Europe, it is not the law globally. Moreover, there are innumerable examples around the world where content that is declared illegal under the laws of one country, would be deemed legal in others: Thailand criminalizes some speech that is critical of its King, Turkey criminalizes some speech that is critical of Ataturk, and Russia outlaws some speech that is deemed to be “gay propaganda.” If the CNIL’s proposed approach were to be embraced as the standard for Internet regulation, we would find ourselves in a race to the bottom. In the end, the Internet would only be as free as the world’s least free place.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google’s Project Loon Balloons May Cover Sri Lanka With Internet Access

Zothecula writes: Sri Lanka is set to become the first country with universal Internet access after signing a memorandum of understanding with Google to use the company’s Project Loon balloons. Officials say there is not a timetable for when the balloons will be covering the 25,000 square mile nation, but this is a crucial first step. The Foreign minister noted that “from this event onwards advertisements or headlines saying “Matara covered” or “Jaffna covered” will become a part of history.” And concluded his speech saying that he was “proud to declare that we are at the cusp of a reclaiming our heritage of being connected to each other and connected to the world. In a few months we will truly be able to say: Sri Lanka, Covered.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Find A Photo, Get A Waffle

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 5.07.09 PM About a week ago, the Google Photos team shared this mystical and magical video about a waffle wafel. What could it mean? What is this all about? Why a waffle??!?!?! Well, Google Photos is deploying food trucks in New York City to get some help on fine tuning its technology…and for marketing as well, I’m sure. It’s summer time, so companies have to get out and about to get… Read More

The New Google Glass Is All Business

An anonymous reader writes: Google scrapped an early version of its smart glasses in January, but has developed another model just for businesses. The company hopes to get this newest version of Glass in the hands of healthcare, manufacturing and energy industry professionals by this fall. Recode reports: “The new model can fold up like a traditional pair of glasses and is more rugged for outdoor use. However, unlike most other smart glasses, it still sports a small screen to the upper right of the user’s vision, rather than displaying an image in the center of one’s view like the ODG R7 or Microsoft HoloLens.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

GAO To Congress: Revisit Privacy Concerns Over Facial Recognition Technology

17086044837_c7f38e4dc9_k Today, Sen. Al Franken announced a new report by the GAO on the use of facial recognition technology. Franken has been on the side of looking into the privacy implications on that type of tech and says today that the report shows that there needs to be a set of federal standards in place before widely adopted. Franken said in a release: Over the past several years, we’ve seen… Read More

Report: Google is delivering next-generation Glass to businesses

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Don’t call it a Google Glass comeback… yet.

Google has been quietly delivering its new generation of Glass to a variety of businesses, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The new enterprise Glass differs from the first iteration in that it attaches to a set of glasses, rather than having its own wire frame.

Google discontinued the first version of Glass in January, placing Nest founder Tony Fadell at the head of developing the next generation. The first generation was a bit of a failure for Google, both in terms of its limited functionality and its image; many found it pretentious and creepy. Read more…

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