Alerts from police, firefighters, and other authorities should soon start popping up in your Google search results.
The new initiative comes courtesy of a team-up between Google and Nixle, a San Francisco-based startup.
Nixle allows people to sign up to receive crime alerts, missing person notifications, and other updates from local police and fire departments. The alerts are sent via e-mail or text message to a mobile phone.
Google has tapped Nixle as the first partner to work with the Google Crisis Response Team to expand those safety alerts beyond just e-mail and mobile phones. Local public safety agencies can … Read more
Google doesn't want you worry about what happens to your online self when you leave finally this world -- or just the virtual world.
The company introduced a tool today called the Inactive Account Manager that lets you tell Google what you want done with your data hosted on its network after you die, or stop using your account for a long period of time. Think of it as an automated will for your digital assets.
"Not many of us like thinking about death -- especially our own," Product Manager Andreas Tuerk wrote in a blog post. &… Read more
Google has submitted its ideas for how to address complaints in Europe that it uses its search power to benefit its other online properties.
Antoine Colombani, the European Commission's spokesman on competition policy, told Reuters that the move took place after the EC finished its years-long assessment of Google's search dominance and its effects:
In the last few weeks, the Commission completed its preliminary assessment formally setting out its concerns. On this basis, Google then made a formal submission of commitments to the Commission.
We are now preparing the launch of a market test to seek feedback from … Read more
Foursquare 6.0 takes the 3.5 billion check-ins made through the service and uses them to beef up its "Explore" function. The new iOS app -- following in the footsteps of Foursquare's recent update to its Android app -- shows personalized recommendations, based on past check-ins, and your friends' check-ins right off the bat. There's also a full search bar on top, while the check-in button moves to the bottom of the screen. … Read more
Facebook today unveiled a new downloadable user interface that takes over your smartphone's home screen, lock screen, and wallpaper. Instead of the regular Android features, you're treated to a slideshow of updates, photos, and shared links.
Facebook wants to take direct control of its user base, and it's going about it in a smart way. Home, which will be available for download on April 12 on select Android phones, isn't a new phone or operating system, or even a … Read more
The European Union has long championed its citizens' right to submit requests for data that companies hold on them in order to ensure the information is up to date and correct. In recent years, an Austrian law student brought this "habeas data" right into the public spotlight by demanding his Facebook data from the social network.
Americans don't have this right -- and generally, relative to the EU, they have little legal protection from the state or federal government against data theft, unauthorized disclosures, and other privacy-related matters.
Though the EU and the U.S. have never … Read more
A slew of news stories published today questioned whether Google search was lowering the ranking of iTunes apps in query results, but the Web giant says it was actually just having technical issues.
"We've been having some issues fetching pages from the iTunes Web servers, and as a result some people may have had problems finding iTunes apps in search easily," a Google spokesperson told CNET. "We're working with the team there to ensure search users can find what they're looking for."
It seems the issue was first noticed by Appsfire co-founder Ouriel … Read more
China's top search engine, Baidu, is working on wearable tech similar to Google's Project Glass device, according to the Chinese media.
Unnamed sources told news site Sina.com that Baidu is testing a prototype called Baidu Eye.
The device has an LCD display, voice-controlled image recognition, and bone-sensing -- the same technology Google is deploying to allow for voice control functions on its Google Glass eyewear. Baidu Eye wearers will be able to make phone calls, search the Web, and use gestures to take and send photos, according to the report.
The device also will have an open … Read more
Yahoo has integrated cloud storage service Dropbox into its e-mail system, the company announced today.
The two companies have partnered to allow users to send, receive and manage Dropbox files within Yahoo Mail.
"This integration allows you to share and store files more easily, whether they are vacation photos or important documents like tax returns and research papers," according to a Yahoo blog post. "And, because files can be stored in your Dropbox account online, it's easy to find the files you want even when you are away from your desktop."