Microsoft and Yahoo In Talks…Again!

microsoft-yahoo-in-talksYou will remember that just under a year ago Microsoft launched a takeover bid of around £22 billion for the internet company Yahoo, which after a lengthy three month debacle resulted in the deal falling through and making many shareholders pretty unhappy. But less than a year on, and a new person in charge at Yahoo, they have started talking again.

This time around though they aren’t talking about any kind of takeover (directly anyway) – the main objective is to pool their resources in the aim of halting Google’s growing dominance on the internet market, something that will benefit both parties greatly.
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Google Street View ‘Privacy Blockade’ in Broughton (UK) Backfires?

google-street-view-logoGoogle Street View in the UK is nothing if not controversial: while most see it as a wonderful harmless novelty that allows them to have a better idea of where they are going on trips others see it as an infringement of their privacy (despite the fact that faces and number plates are blurred) and feel that it encourages crime.

But a village called Broughton in Cambridgeshire have decided to take it into their own hands, literally. Evidently agreeing with the second of the two main views they decided to make a human blockade around the Google Street View car when it was spotted cruising around meaning that it could not drive in and take photos of Broughton forcing it to drive away.
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April Fools 2009 Roundup

april-fool-jesterOn the 1st April every year we take the opportunity to make fun of people less aware of the date than us, but this has risen from a friendly tradition into a massive event where companies will try and come up with the most outrageous ideas and products, and hope that people will believe them.

This year is no different as the internet has become overloaded with fake news stories aimed to spark a little bit of humour into your day – so we have had a good look through them and have singled out some of the best technology related April Fools stories of this year:
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Google Street View (UK) Goes Live

google-street-view-logoA couple of months ago in Jan 2009, we covered the fact Google Street View (UK) would be coming our way sometime this spring, well that day has arrived as Google updated their Google Maps online application with their ‘Street View’ functionality.

Google’s customised cars carrying specially mounted video cameras have been capturing footage from all over the UK while travelling 22,369 miles of UK streets and this footage has now been integrated into their popular online mapping service.
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Wolfram Alpha – The British Take On Google!

british-google-logo“A search engine with a relatively basic PageRank algorithm, bi-chromatic colour scheme, basic layout and a misspelt name? Yeah sure we can beat it; I mean it’s only Google.” The thoughts of many, but despite the attempts of numerous companies (Yahoo, AOL and AskJeeves spring to mind) Google is still the number one search engine by a country mile.

However it is noticeable that as of yet there hasn’t been a significant attempt from us British, but thanks to Stephen Wolfram – winner of the MacArthur genius grant (no, I am not joking!) in 1981 – we may have a serious competitor in the shape of Wolfram Alpha.
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Google Latitude – Share Your Live Location With Friends!

google-latitude-mapGoogle Maps have introduced another new feature to their popular mapping software/service called Google Latitude which utilises the GPS functionality of your mobile phone to display your current location to your friends on their mobile devices or on their computer.

On a technical level, I think this a really cool bit of technology that Google have built into their Google Maps software, but another part of me thinks it’s perhaps a little creepy – but given you have total control over whether people can see you or not, I suppose that does make up for it and puts your mind at rest on that point.
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T-Mobile G1 Review

t-mobile-g1So as we come to the end of our overview of the smartphone world (which has included the Blackberry Storm, Blackberry Bold, Nokia E71, HTC Touch HD and the iPhone 3G) and we meet the T-Mobile G1 – The first Google Phone! This has got to be the only phone where the operating system (O/S) has created more interest than the phone. Having said that the phone has been the centre of much attention and not all of it is without good reason.

Firstly a little background: the phone is technically called the HTC Dream (you may recognise HTC from their Touch HD) as they, along with some input from Google’s design team, designed the hardware. But what makes this phone special is that it is the first example of Google’s Android O/S which promised to be stylish, packed with features and built completely with touchscreens in mind; so it looked good, but the end result was a phone of two halves.
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Google Street View (UK)

google-streetview-las-vegasIt’s been announced that Google Street View is coming to the UK!

The first cities in the UK to be included as part of Google Street View will be London, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh – Google cars equipped will the special cameras for this task have been out and about in these areas in the past few months, so it’s expected that the images captured will be implemented in Google Street View for the UK by Spring 2009.

UPDATE: Google Street View is now live in the UK and features images of 25 cities – a full list of the cities featured are contained on that page too.

UPDATE 2: It’s only taken around a year, but now Google Street View covers most of the UK – try looking up your local area, chances are you’ll be able to look around it now!

In case you haven’t heard of Google Street View before, it is basically an addition to Google’s already impressive mapping services which form their online Google Maps website, Google Maps mobile software, their Google Earth desktop software application and Google Earth iPhone App. This added feature of Street View means that as well as seeing a location in map form and from a satellite view, you can now ‘go down to street level’ and navigate around using a 360° horizontal and 290° vertical panoramic interface that allows you to travel virtually around an area.
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Microsoft Patch Internet Explorer (Again) – Is It Time To Switch?

internet-browser-logosYou have probably heard of the AZN Trojan which has been causing havoc in the Internet world over the last week, but if you haven’t you really should so read on. But for those who have, you will be relieved to know that Microsoft has released a patch for the vulnerability which should stem the problems occurred when browsing using Internet Explorer (IE). This is great news for those IE lovers out there who have been using an alternative for the last week, or the more foolish ones that have been using IE regardless.

Those that are ignorant and righteous may be laughing at those stupid enough to download dodgy material, and thinking that it couldn’t happen to them. But they would be horribly wrong because this exploitation of invulnerability means that all you have to do is go on infected website to “contract” the virus, and suffer the consequences of it.
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