Macintosh Stories August 21, 2013

Chrome for Android update w/ WebRTC, WebAudio, & improved scrolling now available

We noted yesterday that the release of Chrome 29 on Windows, Mac, and Linux would be followed by an update to the Chrome app for Android that brings support for the WebRTC standard and scrolling improvements. Google has just released the update on Google Play and also noted that it includes support for the WebAudio API allowing developers to “process and synthesize audio” in web apps. WebRTC support, as we’ve noted previously, is typically used by developers to implement voice calling, video chatting, and peer-to-peer file sharing in their web apps without the ned of a plugin. Google also says the update includes enhancements to “scrolling responsiveness and visual indication when reaching the end of a page.”

The updated Chrome for Android app also brings a new UI for the color picker in web forms and improved startup performance.

Macintosh Stories August 20, 2013

Google announced today on its Chrome Blog that it is beginning to roll out smarter omnibox suggestions for Chrome users that it says will provide “more timely and contextually relevant suggestions.” The feature has been available for a while in beta and Google noted the improved suggestions are based on websites users recently visited. The new features come alongside the release of the Chrome 29 stable release for Windows, Mac, and Linux, which also brings support for new apps and extensions APIs.

Another new feature coming in Chrome 29 is the ability to reset Chrome back to its original state, disabling all added extensions, through an easy to access option located in Settings: expand full story

Macintosh Stories May 1, 2012

Google is embroiled in a hullabaloo over allegations that it cropped personal data from millions of people during its Street View project, and while the Federal Communications Commission ended its 17-month investigation into the matter, with a partial exoneration for the Internet giant, The New York Times is claiming to have found the culprit at the center of the case.

Google Street View is a service highlighted in Google Maps and Google Earth that offers panoramic views of streets. It launched in 2007 in the United States and has expanded to many cities and rural areas worldwide. The project ambitiously maps the world’s streets with photographs while accumulating data about local wireless networks to bulk location-based searches.

It eventually became apparent that Google’s Street View vehicle also gathered unencrypted information like emails and Internet searches beamed from personal computers from within homes. When this came to light, the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company fingered a nameless engineer as being solely responsible for the action, which resulted in a F.C.C. inquiry. The search engine did not break any laws, the regulatory body found, but it did obstruct the investigation.

Although Google and the F.C.C. refused to confirm, the NYT published a lengthy piece yesterday that named Marius Milner as Google’s scapegoat. A former state investigator involved in another inquiry into Street View identified Milner as the engineer responsible. He is a programmer with an extensive background in telecommunications and Wi-Fi networking. As the publication discovered, Milner listed his occupation as “hacker” on his LinkedIn page (not working now), and wrote, “I know more than I want to about Wi-Fi” under the profile’s “Specialties” category.

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Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

Macintosh Stories December 21, 2011

Clay Caviness, systems administrator on Google’s internal Macintosh Operations team, just announced on Google+ that the team will begin releasing a selection of scripts, tools, and utilities used internally. The goal is to help other Mac administrators, and the team is releasing the first set of items today for “managing and tracking a fleet of Macintoshes in a corporate environment.”

The first tool is an application usage module for crankd – a Mac administration tool used to execute scripts and Python code related to network and system activity. Administrators can find the Application Usage tool here. Also announced today was a simple facter script that will allow administrators to “create facts from the database.”

Caviness promised to release more Mac specific tools, scripts, and utilities over time. (Simian?)

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