10/11/2013

A first look inside Google’s futuristic quantum lab

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

In May, Google launched the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab with hardware from the Canadian quantum computing company D-Wave and technical expertise from NASA. It was an ambitious open research project aimed at exploring both the capabilities of quantum computer architecture and the mysteries of space exploration — but in the months since, they’ve stayed quiet about exactly what kind of work they’ve been doing there.

Now Google they’re breaking the silence with a brief short film, set to debut at the Imagine Science Films Festival at Google New York. The film takes a look at various researchers working on the project, as well as the computer itself, which has to be operated at near-absolute-zero temperatures. Researchers hope the quantum architecture will eventually be used to optimize solutions across complex and interconnected sets of variables currently outside the capabilities of conventional computing. That could allow for new solutions in computational medicine or help NASA to construct a more comprehensive picture of the known universe. “We don’t know what the best questions are to ask that computer,” says NASA’s Eleanor Rieffel in the video. “That’s exactly what we’re trying to understand.”

Source: The Verge

10/8/2013

Android adware vulnerabilities are so BAD, researchers won’t ID it

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A popular mobile ad library used by multiple Android apps poses a severe malware threat, researchers at infosec firm FireEye have warned. The security researchers said that altogether 200 million affected apps had been downloaded.

This ad library aggressively collects sensitive data and is able to perform dangerous operations such as calling home to a command-and-control server before downloading and running secondary components on demand.

Mobile ad libraries are third-party software included by host apps in order to display ads. Because this library could potentially be used to conduct large-scale attacks on millions of users, FireEye refers to it anonymously by the code name “Vulna” rather than revealing its true identity.

An analysis of the most popular apps (those with over one million downloads) on Google Play reveals that 1.8 per cent of them used “Vulna”. The potentially affected apps have been downloaded more than 200 million times in total.

FireEye catalogues a variety of built-in aggressive behaviours which, in addition to vulnerabilities with the technology, make Vulna a threat.

7/21/2013

Android is now a bigger platform than Windows

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft’s “Windows monopoly” hasn’t been so much destroyed as rendered irrelevant. Thanks to the explosion of Internet-based cloud computing and smartphones, tablets, and other mobile gadgets, the once all-powerful platform of the desktop operating system has now been reduced to little more than a device driver. As long as your gadget can connect to the Internet and run some apps, it doesn’t matter what operating system you use.

Three charts really bring home the challenges that Microsoft and other PC-powered giants like Intel, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard face in adapting to this new Internet-driven world.

First, look at global device shipments. For the two decades through 2005, the personal computer was the only game in town, selling about 200 million units a year. But then smartphones and tablets came along. And now they dwarf the PC market.

This shift in personal computing device adoption, meanwhile, has radically diminished the power of the Windows operating system platform. As recently as three years ago, Microsoft’s Windows was still totally dominant — the platform ran 70% of personal computing devices.

Now, thanks to the rise of Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS, Windows’ global share has been cut in half, to about 30%. More remarkably, Android is now a bigger platform than Windows.

5/24/2013

Google To Launch Enhance Search

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

You can now start to have a conversation with search on all your devices—including your desktop or laptop. Google is rolling out the new conversational search functionality over the next few days in Google Chrome, so you can ask Google about “Italian restaurants in San Francisco” and continue the conversation with “how about Chinese.” Or find out “who is the prime minister of Australia” then ask “how old is she”—and Google will give you a spoken answer. Just click the mic in the Google search bar and speak up. Also, be sure to have the volume up on your computer to hear your answer loud and clear.

4/9/2013

Microsoft: Google unfairly using Android to promote Google’s products

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

About a decade ago, if we were to tell you that Microsoft is part of a group who is filing a complaint against another software giant who they feel is unfairly using its own software to promote it’s own products, you would have thought we were crazy. But that is exactly what is happening today in the EU as Microsoft, Nokia, and a few other companies are accusing Google of unfairly using its own Android software to promote Google’s products and services.

Sound familiar? It should, it’s a similar complaint that Microsoft faced many years ago that resulted in the browser ballot that you see today and also the N versions of the Windows platforms in Europe. The NYTimes is citing a lawyer for Fairsearch, Thomas Vinje, who filed the complaint, that represents these large corporations by stating that Android software is “a deceptive way to build advantages for key Google apps in 70 percent of the smartphones shipped today”.

This is kind of typical to large companies, if they can’t compete they try to buy you, if they can buy you they’ll sue you. Microsoft and Nokia don’t believe Windows 8 can compete with Android and gain market share, the same way Android competes with iOS and eventually won ?

12/29/2011

Is Google Chrome the New IE6?

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Let me tell you about a browser. An innovative browser that was the first to implement new Web technologies that allowed for greater interactivity. A browser with a striking new interface. Chrome? No: Internet Explorer 6.

There’s a reason that Microsoft’s browser took over 95 percent of the Web browser market from Netscape (Firefox’s ancestor): IE6 could do things earlier browsers could not. There was dynamic HTML, CSS, and yes, it even had new security features.

But over the years, problems with all these unique capabilities reared its ugly head. Every major Web site started to target IE, to the point that the sites didn’t function correctly or fully in other browsers.

Fast forward to 2011. The hot new browser is Google’s Chrome, which has just overtaken former indie darling Firefox in global market share, according to StatCounter. Chrome can do things that no other browser can do, and Google now targets Chrome exclusively, meaning some Google sites only function fully when viewed in Chrome. Even today, you can read on the Google blog about some new Angry Birds levels that only work in Chrome.

Continue reading

11/21/2011

Bug silences Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich phone, which went on sale last week, is suffering from a particularly annoying bug.

The glitch sees the handset drop the audio volume of its own accord. The phone goes suddenly silent, without warning, many an owner spent the weekend complaining on the intertubes.

Others have grumbled about the volume key becoming unresponsive, and even the power key sometimes ignores users’ presses.

Not every handset appears to be affected, but the consensus is that the bug only makes its presence felt when the Galaxy Nexus is operating in the 900MHz band for 2G communications. That’s a very commonly used band in Europe.

11/3/2011

Google Giving you fresher, more recent search results

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Search results, like warm cookies right out of the oven or cool refreshing fruit on a hot summer’s day, are best when they’re fresh. Even if you don’t specify it in your search, you probably want search results that are relevant and recent.

Gogle Search uses a freshness algorithm, designed to give you the most up-to-date results, so even when I just type [olympics] without specifying 2012, I still find what I’m looking for.

Given the incredibly fast pace at which information moves in today’s world, the most recent information can be from the last week, day or even minute, and depending on the search terms, the algorithm needs to be able to figure out if a result from a week ago about a TV show is recent, or if a result from a week ago about breaking news is too old.

Today Google is making a significant improvement to the ranking algorithm that impacts roughly 35 percent of searches and better determines when to give you more up-to-date relevant results for these varying degrees of freshness: Recent events or hot topics, Regularly recurring events, Frequent updates.

8/12/2011

Google Unleashes Native Client Into Chrome

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

For well over a year now, Google has been hyping up something called Native Client. It’s an open source technology that allows a web browser to run compiled native code. In other words, it’s a potential missing link between native apps and web apps. And now it’s finally getting baked into Chrome.

As Google notes on their Chrome Blog blog today, the latest beta version of Chrome (version 14) has Native Client built-in. Their implementation allows for C and C code to be executed inside of the browser while maintaining the security that a web technology like JavaScript offers.

8/4/2011

Fetch, Googlebot! Google’s New Way To Submit URLs & Updated Pages

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Today, Google launched a new way for site owners to request that specific web pages be crawled. How is this different from the other ways available to let Google know about your pages and when should you use this feature vs. the others? Read on for more.

This new method for submitting URLs to Google is limited, so you should use it when it’s important that certain pages be crawled right away. Although Google doesn’t guarantee that they’ll index every page that they crawl, this new feature does seem to at least escalate that evaluation process.

Google Threw A Punch, Microsoft Fires Back With A Missile | LinkedIn

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Earlier today, Google came out swinging. Seemingly sick of being continuously slapped in the face by the patent issue, Google’s SVP and Chief Legal Officer, David Drummond, wrote a blog post calling out several of Google’s rivals for attempting to use “bogus patents” to destroy Android. Chief among the rivals called out was Microsoft. Drummond noted that the software giant had been getting in bed with other rivals to hurt Google.

Among the accusations was that Microsoft teamed up with Apple to buy Novell’s old patents, implying that they did so in order to keep them away from Google.

Microsoft didn’t take too kindly to that remark.

“Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no,” Brad Smith, Microsoft General Counsel tweeted out in response.

7/18/2011

Android 3.2 official, coming to a tablet near you

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The latest version of Google’s Android operating system for tablets is official, which means the update will likely be arriving on a range of tablets in the near future.

Motorola has already begun to roll out the update on its Xoom tablet. Other tablet candidates for a 3.2 rollout include Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, Acer’s Iconia Tab 500, and Toshiba’s Thrive.

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