I happened to be parked at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA at the time. I’m not sure if Maps was refusing to acknowledge my location or if it was trying not to take me to the Googleplex.
When Alan Turing first conceived of the Turing Test in 1947, he suggested that a computer program’s resemblance to a human mind could be gauged by making it answer a series of questions written by an interrogator in another room. Jump forward about seven decades, and Google says it’s now developed a Turing Test that can spot a bot by requiring it to do something far simpler: Click on a checkbox.
The Googles and Facebooks (GoogleBooks?) of the world want to aggregate all of these personas into a single identity. They want to do this, not because they think this is good for users or because this is how they think society works, but rather because it helps them monetize user interactions. However, this type of aggregation is a very bad deal for users.
The fine folks over at the Big G put together a cracking Doctor Who-themed doodle/game for the programme’s 50th anniversary. See if you can beat my time of 19:08 (it shouldn’t be too difficult)!
Jim O’Donnell was at a library conference in Singapore when his Ipad’s Google Play app asked him to update it. This was the app through which he had bought 30 to 40 ebooks, and after the app had updated, it started to re-download them. However, Singapore is not one of the countries where the Google Play bookstore is active, so it stopped downloading and told him he was no longer entitled to his books.
I gotta give some proper respect to Google for their Doodle yesterday celebrating the 115th birthday of pioneer aviatrix Amelia Earhart. I often appreciate Google’s clever variations on their home page logo, but this is the first time I recall anyone in aviation being honoured with a Doodle. Here’s hoping that Igor Sikorsky gets his one day!
I kinda grimaced when Google announced their rebranding Music and Android Market into “Google Play.” To me, it just seemed like an idea that came from marketing as some hackneyed effort to breathe some perceived new vibrancy into a product that hadn’t even scratched its showroom paint yet. It certainly didn’t come from engineering, as the following screenshot can attest:
As you can see, Google Music has become “Play Music,” and, when put next to the built-in Android music player, might cause some embarrassingly humourous (and vaguely confusing) results. Granted, I’m excited about the potential of Play: if I can upload and stream my video files the same way I can with my music, I’ll enjoy being able to access my entertainment on the go without lugging around an external hard drive or even my lappy.
It’s clearly Google positioning itself to compete directly with Apple’s iCloud service, but, for the Big G’s sake, I hope that they work out the kinks between the different apps quickly or it all may be doomed to suffer the same fate as Google+.