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Digital Culture Links: January 13th 2010
Rather Google-centric links January 13th 2010:
- Google ‘may end China operations over Gmail breaches’ [BBC News] – “Internet search company Google says it may end operations in China over alleged breaches of the e-mail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. It said it had found a “sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China”. It did not specifically accuse China’s government but said it was no longer willing to censor its Chinese site’s results, as the government requires. Google said the decision may mean it has to shut the site, set up in 2006.” Google’s certainly showing some real guts; read their official statement.
- Google finally enters the online storage arena with a free 1GB [Technology | guardian.co.uk] – With the announcement that Google are now supporting online file storage of any file-type via Google Docs the fabled GDrive appears one step closer! Jack Schofield examines Google’s online storage foray: “First, as Google says, you will be able to share files that Google Docs can’t handle, presumably including avi and MP3. That is clearly useful. Second, Google Docs can be a problem for companies sharing Microsoft Office files, because the features you lose when you convert to Google’s formats you can never get back. Google Docs storage will now let people share those files. And third…. Google is planning to launch ChromeOS, where computers run a Chrome browser but have no permanent local storage: everything is done “in the cloud”. Google probably does not plan to tell those folks to go somewhere else to store their files, so at that point it will need an online storage offering.”
- Uni staff migrate to the cloud [The Australian] – “More universities are set to follow Macquarie and outsource staff email to parties such as Google’s Gmail, with Curtin University close to a deal with Microsoft. About 14 Australian universities have already outsourced their student email to Gmail or Microsoft’s Live@edu service, but this week Macquarie became the first to migrate staff to the so-called cloud in a deal with Gmail. The cloud is jargon for the outsourcing of email and data services to external providers that host the data on servers that can be located across the world. Concerns about the security of intellectual property and academic privacy had made universities cautious about moving staff to the cloud. But Macquarie’s chief information officer Marc Bailey said the likes of Google and Microsoft offered vastly superior security to a university.” (Given how frustrating current arrangements can be, I welcome a cloud-based email system for Curtin staff!)
- Google Plans to Upgrade Old Billboards in Street View [RW Web] – Google’s street view becomes a virtual advertising landscape! Inspired by Minority Report perhaps? “According to a new patent that was just granted to Google, the company could soon extend the reach of its advertising program in Google Maps to Street View. This patent, which was originally filed on July 7, 2008, describes a new system for promoting ads in online mapping applications. In this patent, Google describes how it plans to identify buildings, posters, signs and billboards in these images and give advertisers the ability to replace these images with more up-to-date ads. In addition, Google also seems to plan an advertising auction for unclaimed properties. In Google’s example, the software could identify the marquis and individual window posters on a theater property and replace them with new information. Through this, a theater could promote a new play in Street View, even if the actual Street View image is completely out of date.”