Google Corporate ▪ December 29, 2014

china

Update: The FT reports that access has been restored for now at least, with a slight pickup in Google’s stats appearing to confirm.

China has tightened its firewall blockade of Google services, reports Re/code and the WSJ, with email apps no longer able to access Gmail via IMAP, POP3 or SMTP. While web access to Gmail has been blocked since June – believed related to the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre – users had remained able to access mail using email apps like Apple Mail and Outlook until Friday …  expand full story

Google Corporate ▪ December 26, 2014

Google Corporate ▪ December 24, 2014

the-interview

Update: Sony and Google have officially announced that “The Interview” will be available on YouTube, Google Play, and Xbox Video today, December 24th, at 1PM Eastern. The film will cost $5.99 to rent or $14.99 to own.

Google had the following to say in a statement:

Last Wednesday Sony began contacting a number of companies, including Google, to ask if we’d be able to make their movie, “The Interview,” available online. We’d had a similar thought and were eager to help—though given everything that’s happened, the security implications were very much at the front of our minds.

Of course it was tempting to hope that something else would happen to ensure this movie saw the light of day. But after discussing all the issues, Sony and Google agreed that we could not sit on the sidelines and allow a handful of people to determine the limits of free speech in another country (however silly the content might be).

So starting at 10 a.m. PST in the U.S., you can rent or buy “The Interview” on Google Play and YouTube Movies. It will also be available to Xbox Video customers and via http://www.seetheinterview.com.

Original report below:

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Google Corporate ▪ December 23, 2014

prototype

Matthew Inman writes the popular Web cartoon strip The Oatmeal and in a brilliant strategic PR move, Google gave him a ride in “the first real build” of its self-driving car.

The result is a well written piece on the optimism and pitfalls of this brave new technology. Spoiler:

The unfortunate part of something this transformative is the inevitable, ardent stupidity which is going to erupt from the general public. Even if in a few years self-driving cars are proven to be ten times safer than human-operated cars, all it’s going to take is one tragic accident and the public is going to lose their minds. There will be outrage. There will be politicizing. There will be hashtags.
It’s going to suck.

But I say to hell with the public. Let them spend their waking lives putt-putting around on a crowded interstate with all the other half-lucid orangutans on their cell phones.

I say look at the bigger picture. All the self-driving cars currently on the road learn from one another, and each car now collectively possesses 40 years of driving experience. And this technology is still in its infancy.

I say ignore the anecdotes, embrace the data.

I’m ready for our army of Skynet Marshmallow Bumper Bots.

I’m ready for the future. I’m ready for the marshmallows.

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Google Corporate ▪ December 22, 2014

Every once in a while, we get a new feature added to Google’s Knowledge Graph (the smart results that appear at the top of the search page). Today, Google has added the handy ability to see results for song lyrics right on the search page (via TechCrunch), meaning that websites focusing solely on providing lyrics and fighting for the top of Google’s results in this category might see a bit of a downturn in traffic…

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