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Analysis and Comment (119)

Google books much of its Australian profit to offshore operations. Google books much of its Australian profit to offshore operations. Tawel/Flickr

Information is power: OECD tax plan puts Apple and Google on notice

Public outcries over tax avoidance by multinational enterprises like Apple and Google have pushed politicians to act. The unprecedented international political will to combat base erosion profit shifting…
It’s likely children will come across child-unfriendly content online, regardless of parental control. It’s likely children will come across child-unfriendly content online, regardless of parental control. ransomtech/Flickr

Kids with Google accounts: how parents can keep them safe

You might have seen reports that Google could offer children under the age of 13 years a simple and safe way to access their internet services, including Gmail and YouTube. But will this new strategy really…
Making hackers happy. Making hackers happy. erautio

Google must make Android safer – our data is at risk

Over the past few months, the Android platform developed by Google and based on the Linux operating system has been having a difficult time. Hackers, with malicious intent and those without, have been…
Google knows if you’re pulling a sickie. Google knows if you’re pulling a sickie. Sergio Alvarez

Is Google’s project to monitor healthy people just a bit creepy?

You donate gigabytes of valuable data to Google every day. Your browsing history, search results, and gmail behaviour as well as the countless smartphone apps which monitor your movements and personal…
Rupert Murdoch’s bid for Time Warner has been rebuffed for now. Rupert Murdoch’s bid for Time Warner has been rebuffed for now. AAP/Jason Reed

Time Warner would bolster News Corp – but internet giants lurk

While Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation US$80 billion takeover bid for fellow US media giant Time Warner has been rejected - for now - there is no doubt the future ownership of this historic company is…
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it - but sometimes it’s just time to move on. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it - but sometimes it’s just time to move on. Otherthings

A juggernaut like the NHS won’t find it easy to drop Windows for open source - but it should

Like many large modern organisations, the NHS has grown up with constant change – not only in medical practice, but also in the systems that support the daily routine of one of the world’s largest health…
With an Oculus Rift and a few off-the-shelf items, you can have virtual reality at home. With an Oculus Rift and a few off-the-shelf items, you can have virtual reality at home. Sergey Galyonkin/Flickr

How to build a virtual reality system – in your living room

Virtual reality is no longer the expensive, cumbersome exercise it once was. Google Cardboard, launched at last week’s Google I/O conference, is a no-frills, cardboard frame that, when used with open software…
Google’s recent developers conference has seen it go past Apple in the battle for tech supremacy. Google’s recent developers conference has seen it go past Apple in the battle for tech supremacy. Robert Scoble/Flickr

The tech developer’s World Cup: Google 2, Apple 1

Following on from Apple’s developer conference held earlier this month, Google has now had its chance to respond to Apple’s agenda with its own vision for the coming tech landscape. The keynote speech…
Outside the box. Amazon’s new direction makes sense. Outside the box. Amazon’s new direction makes sense. Uwe Zucchi/EPA

Amazon’s smartphone launch offers a prudent platform for growth

Amazon, the e-commerce internet giant, is launching its first smartphone. Media attention is focusing on whether the phone’s features, such as its rumoured 3D interface, are really as cool as portrayed…
You can hide for now but maybe not forever. You can hide for now but maybe not forever. shutterstock man with hat over face

Tough times ahead for the right to be forgotten

As Viviane Reding, vice-president of the European Commission, congratulates herself for forcing Google to comply with the right to be forgotten, she might want to take a moment to think about some issues…
Remember this look? Remember this look? matheo

NHS must think like Google to make data project work

As the UK government wrangles with the sticky problem of how to make health records useful for research without compromising privacy, it might look to how Google has evolved for inspiration. Google was…
Despite increased connectivity, televisions have remained largely dumb. Despite increased connectivity, televisions have remained largely dumb. Shutterstock

Broadcast to Chromecast – is TV being recast or cast out?

There are several large quite expensive pieces of electronic equipment in my house and in most homes that are the site of a long overdue technological revolution. Despite being in the “Internet Age”, most…
Review sites like TripAdvisor could become liable for any fake reviews they host under a new crackdown in Italy. Review sites like TripAdvisor could become liable for any fake reviews they host under a new crackdown in Italy. scanna283/Flickr

Online publishers beware, Europe wants to shoot the messenger

The internet is an endless source of information. But who is liable if the information is wrong or, at least, misleading? Existing laws on publishing, information and privacy were not designed for the…
The low end just got a bit more high end. The low end just got a bit more high end. Ikhlasul Amal

Cheap as chips phones: is it time to make the switch?

A change is taking place in the mobile phone market that has the potential to bring more power to the consumer. Cheaper devices are becoming an option and while they’re not quite ready yet, they could…
With not one but two truces on the table, does this spell the end of the patent wars? With not one but two truces on the table, does this spell the end of the patent wars? [Magill]/Flickr

Apple, Google and Samsung … is it peacetime in the patent wars?

Apple and Google agreed last week to abandon mutual litigation over smartphone software and hardware patents. Yesterday the Korea Times reported that it appears likely Apple and Samsung will also reach…
Europe has the right to be forgotten, Google does not have the right to forget Europe. Europe has the right to be forgotten, Google does not have the right to forget Europe. Eric Fischer

Right to be forgotten ruling highlights global reach of EU law

The Court of Justice of the European Union has issued a ruling that affects privacy and data protection for millions of people. But the ruling is also significant because of what it says about whether…
A European court ruling may mean Google must ‘allow’ the internet to forget. A European court ruling may mean Google must ‘allow’ the internet to forget. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Google court ruling creates a more forgetful internet

Have you ever ‘googled’ your name? Many people do, and some find search results about themselves they rather not find publicly available on the internet. The question is; what do you do when that happens…
errmmmm, no I don’t really know how to add friends either. Vic Gundotra has had enough. errmmmm, no I don’t really know how to add friends either. Vic Gundotra has had enough. niallkennedy

Google+ isn’t dead, it just hasn’t got any friends

The news that Vic Gundotra, Google’s vice-president for social media, is to leave the company has fuelled speculation that Google+, the company’s much maligned social network that Gundotra oversaw, is…
Apple chief Tim Cook has dismissed ‘Haunted Empire’ as “nonsense”. Apple chief Tim Cook has dismissed ‘Haunted Empire’ as “nonsense”. Mike Deerkoski/Flickr

Channelling Steve Jobs in Apple’s ‘Haunted Empire’

The American reviews of Yukari Iwatani Kane’s book Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs have not been kind. Having covered Apple for three years as a journalist at the Wall Street Journal, Kane would…
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has overstepped its bounds. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has overstepped its bounds. Ken Lund/Flickr

Innocence or arrogance? US court oversteps on internet regulation

The legal drama that has followed the online publication of the “Innocence of Muslims” film may be worthy of being used as the plot for a movie in its own right. And, given a recent judgement by Chief…
Catch me if you can: Google wants an extension of laws that would exempt the company from copyright liabilities. Catch me if you can: Google wants an extension of laws that would exempt the company from copyright liabilities. EPA/Boris Roessler

Don’t sue us for search: Google’s unnecessary safe harbour appeal

Amidst a number of submissions to federal communications minister Malcolm Turnbull’s media regulation reforms last week pushing for deregulation was one from search giant Google – calling for legislative…
The trend towards cloud storage has privacy implications for individuals. The trend towards cloud storage has privacy implications for individuals.

Get off my cloud: when privacy laws meet cloud computing

What does privacy mean in an age of ongoing privacy breaches? With new privacy law coming online in Australia on March 12, our Privacy in Practice series explores the practical challenges facing Australian…
For pity’s sake, get away from those cacti! Google glassers are out of control. For pity’s sake, get away from those cacti! Google glassers are out of control. Leaflet

Oh Glassholes, what have you done? Google is not pleased

Google must have been getting some negative feedback on people misusing Google Glass. It hasn’t overtly admitted as much, of course, but we can tell because of a communiqué that has been issued to “Glass…
MongoDB co-founder and chairman Dwight Merriman still writes code. MongoDB co-founder and chairman Dwight Merriman still writes code. TechCrunch/Flickr

The new technologies needed for dealing with big data

While much focus and discussion of the so-called “Big Data revolution” has been on the data itself and the exciting new applications it is enabling — from Google’s self-driving cars through to CSIRO and…
Google has you in a filter bubble and you might not even know it. Google has you in a filter bubble and you might not even know it. melanie.phung

Google still controls your information, despite EU ruling

After a long investigation, Google has finally reached a settlement with the European Commission about how it presents search results. The Commission had started investigating Google in the first place…
A German protester wears a mask of Vladimir Putin – one of thousands protesting Russia’s stance on gay rights ahead of the Sochi Winter Games. A German protester wears a mask of Vladimir Putin – one of thousands protesting Russia’s stance on gay rights ahead of the Sochi Winter Games. EPA/Axel Heimken

Are politics fair game at the Olympics? Google thinks so

This week, the largest, coolest and most promising Australian Winter Olympics team to ever leave these shores landed in Sochi. But there’s more than gold on their minds – they want their presence to mean…
Once-mighty Motorola will be part of Lenovo. Once-mighty Motorola will be part of Lenovo. Titanas

Everyone wins in Motorola sell off, except HTC and Blackberry

Google’s decision to sell Motorola to Lenovo could easily be misread as a sign of defeat. In fact, it is win-win. And it spells trouble for struggling competitors Blackberry and HTC. Google originally…
The golden age of AI is upon us. The golden age of AI is upon us. kidpixo

What does Google want with DeepMind? Here are three clues

All eyes turned to London this week, as Google announced its latest acquisition in the form of DeepMind, a company that specialises in artificial intelligence technologies. The £400m pricetag paid by Google…
Verizon, Comcast and other providers have been fighting against net neutrality rules since 2005, when the Federal Communication Commission first introduced such measures. Verizon, Comcast and other providers have been fighting against net neutrality rules since 2005, when the Federal Communication Commission first introduced such measures. Steve Rhodes

Australia’s net neutrality lesson for the US

A US court ruling meaning broadband internet service providers will no longer have to follow principles of network neutrality has sparked predictions the internet will end as we know it. Some predict it…
Google sees Nest as a way into smart homes. Google sees Nest as a way into smart homes. born1945

Google’s smart-home strategy starts with smoke alarms

Google is set to pay £1.9 billion (US$3.2 billion) for Nest, a manufacturer of “smart” thermostats and smoke alarms. Though Nest is still relatively unknown, the buzz around smart homes – where all manner…
Windows 8 made sense in theory, but in reality has failed to hit the mark. Windows 8 made sense in theory, but in reality has failed to hit the mark. Justin Lane/AAP

Windows 8 and Microsoft’s missed mobile moment

To say that Microsoft is struggling at the moment is an understatement. The search for a new CEO is not going well, Microsoft mobile phones are still failing to capture any significant mind and market…
Google’s turned attention to robotics by buying up companies … but what do those firms do? Google’s turned attention to robotics by buying up companies … but what do those firms do? Dita Actor

Rise of the Google machines: the robotics companies involved

Google recently acquired eight high profile start-up robotics companies, providing strong evidence of a strategy to create breakthrough applications for robotics over the next decade. This strategy is…
Such wearable, much wow. Such wearable, much wow. Thomas Hawk

Watches, glasses and super-tablets: tech predictions for 2014

With Microsoft losing its controversial CEO, Apple launching new iPads and iPhones and the rise of wearable devices all making headlines, it’s been another huge year for technology. That’s before you look…
A race to the bottom on cloud costs sounds good on the surface, but it could also drive volatility for cloud users. A race to the bottom on cloud costs sounds good on the surface, but it could also drive volatility for cloud users. shutterstock.com

Cloud price wars could drive ‘volatility as a service’

Since Google announced the launch of its Compute Engine in mid 2012, the competition for this lucrative slice of the cloud market has heated up. Amazon AWS, which has the lion’s share of the cloud infrastructure…
Where is this building? It really doesn’t matter. Where is this building? It really doesn’t matter. brionv

Google is unlikely to avoid UK courts on privacy

The question of accountability under national law for the wrongs committed by international companies has been debated and litigated for many years in many different courts and across many different countries…
You can wait a long time for a postman to show up in the country. You can wait a long time for a postman to show up in the country. amandabhslater

Small businesses think smart to keep up with Amazon drones

The biggest names in internet retail appear to be dramatically stepping up efforts to make delivering your online orders, fast, reliable and extremely hi-tech. But in a week in which Amazon talked up its…
Are search engines really at the front line in the fight against child pornography? Are search engines really at the front line in the fight against child pornography? GoodNCrazy

Blocks just move child porn under the counter

Google and Microsoft have agreed to install filters on their search engines to prevent them being used to search for child abuse images. Some queries on Google and Bing will be blocked, while others will…
With more internet users going dark, will tech companies follow them? With more internet users going dark, will tech companies follow them? Owen's/Flickr

US tech companies could go ‘dark’ to regain trust

With each new revelation of the scope of the American National Security Agency’s spying, perceptions of the importance of privacy are hardening around the world. Systematic monitoring of the world’s communications…
Engaging with the creative industries gives companies such as Google a competitive edge. Engaging with the creative industries gives companies such as Google a competitive edge. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Beyond the IT crowd: the pitch for Google’s Australian Big Tent

Will the web create more Australian culture than it destroys? How do we tell Australian stories in the digital age? Why would Google host an event and ask questions such as these? On Friday, Google will…
Microsoft is running out of temptations to sell Office software to consumers. Microsoft is running out of temptations to sell Office software to consumers. Sunfox/Flickr

Apple takes on Microsoft, but Google still the master of ‘free’

With the release of new iPads and Mac hardware, Apple announced that not only would the latest version of the Mac OS, Mavericks, be free, but it would also be giving away its iWork office productivity…
Google plans on ditching cookies as a personal identifier and going with an in-house version. Google plans on ditching cookies as a personal identifier and going with an in-house version. Mark Poblete

No more cookies: Google wants to own the whole bakery

The indelible digital footprint associated with your internet usage is worth gold to others. Around the world, online advertisers are expected to spend around $117 Billion this year alone. And it’s Google…
Got away again. Got away again. MarcProudfoot

Google and ExxonMobil run rings around outdated tax laws

Tax avoidance shows no sign of abating. Google, the company with the slogan “Don’t be evil", is at it again. The company has been named and shamed by the UK House of Commons' Public Accounts Committee…
Many consider manufacturer’s versions of Android to be “bloatware” when compared with what’s available on Google’s own Nexus 4. Many consider manufacturer’s versions of Android to be “bloatware” when compared with what’s available on Google’s own Nexus 4. Janitors via Flickr

Android customisation about to go mainstream

The practice of installing modified versions of the Google Android operating system on other smartphones is about to become mainstream. CyanogenMod, the people behind one of the custom ROMs (as these versions…
From massively open to really massively open. From massively open to really massively open. oxyman

Google and friends put the ‘open’ back into MOOCs

The entrance of Google into the Massive Open Online Courses market this week has the potential to reignite the spirit of openness that saw these alternative routes into higher education emerge in the first…
Google says it can change the world with its Loon balloons. Google says it can change the world with its Loon balloons. iLighter

Spreading the net takes more than balloons and bombast

A flurry of initiatives aimed at connecting the billions – mainly in Africa – who still do not have access to the internet are underway. A few weeks ago, Google’s possibly aptly named Project Loon was…
Unexpected item in bagging area. Tesco is striking out into tablets. Unexpected item in bagging area. Tesco is striking out into tablets. ell brown

Will consumers say BOGOF to the Tesco tablet?

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPad in 2010, he argued that unless the device was better at doing everyday tasks than smartphones or netbooks, it wouldn’t deserve to exist. Consumers and corporates embraced…
And this is how we grab the cookie. And this is how we grab the cookie. cactusbeetroot

Don’t ask Google for privacy but steer clear of stalking bins

“You are being spied upon” is a warning that seems to greet us from the pages of our newspapers almost every day at the moment. The government is stockpiling your data, your Internet service provider is…
Legally, you’ve agreed to have your emails scanned – but what about morally? Legally, you’ve agreed to have your emails scanned – but what about morally? enggul

Your emails are all scanned – and that’s what you agreed to

According to Nobel Laureate Gabriel García Márquez, “all human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret”. It is in our nature to want privacy, yet in the internet age, it has never been easier…
The ‘impossible’ is no longer: a hacked Google Glass is able to recognise faces and fetch personal details. The ‘impossible’ is no longer: a hacked Google Glass is able to recognise faces and fetch personal details. walkaboutstreet.net

Smile! Face recognition for Google Glass is here, thanks to hackers

You’re probably already familiar with face recognition technology through security surveillance or Facebook photo tagging, but the next person you see wearing Google Glass may well be using it too - despite…
Companies can keep on ducking tax, despite what the OECD says. Companies can keep on ducking tax, despite what the OECD says. Yahoo! Inc

OECD tax avoidance plan is no quick fix for EU

The long awaited report on combating corporate tax avoidance by the OECD sadly has to deal with a corporate tax system which is unfit for purpose. It is a follow-up to the G8 meeting last month in Ireland…
Should search engines like Google be forced to suppress potentially damaging information and ‘forget’ who you are? Should search engines like Google be forced to suppress potentially damaging information and ‘forget’ who you are? shutterstock

Forget me not: do we have a right to vanish online?

Do you have a right to be “forgotten” by Google searches and other internet search engines? That question is being considered in Europe currently, where the European Court of Justice has received advice…
Tax protests outside a Starbucks in London. But do people really care enough to make a difference? Tax protests outside a Starbucks in London. But do people really care enough to make a difference? Steve Parsons/PA

Consumers won’t boycott Apple or Google over tax … yet

The tax arrangements of major brands such as Google, Apple and Amazon have prompted a fierce debate over questions of organisational ethics, social justice and international co-operation. But as a consumer…
Google’s annual conference has offered bells and whistles, and the same old causes for alarm. Google’s annual conference has offered bells and whistles, and the same old causes for alarm. John G Mabanglo/EPA

Google I/O 2013: five things you need to know

Yesterday saw the end of the first day of Google’s three-day developer-focused conference Google I/O in San Francisco. And for consumers, there was plenty on offer. The annual Google fest is popular…
Google might soon seal a deal with the European Commission regarding alleged abuses. Google might soon seal a deal with the European Commission regarding alleged abuses. Jessica M. Cross

Google proposes to the European Commission, but hold the confetti

It’s taken nearly three years, but the European Commission and Google last week reached some form of agreement regarding alleged abuses of the search engine’s dominant position in the European Union. Google’s…
Search terms can give insight into the likely future behaviour of economic actors. Search terms can give insight into the likely future behaviour of economic actors. Ahmad Nawawi

Stock market tip: use Google Trends

What a curious thing the stock market is; so powerful, yet so flighty. Like a school of sardines, it moves as one, changing direction nimbly when danger looms or advantage beckons. What it will do next…
Microsoft’s negative marketing campaign says less about Google and more about its insecurity in the IT industry. Microsoft’s negative marketing campaign says less about Google and more about its insecurity in the IT industry. AAP/Everett Kennedy Brown

Microsoft’s mean streak reveals a company in crisis

You can tell a lot about an organisation’s culture and view of the world by looking at what it says about its competitors. Some enterprises, just like some politicians and academics, are serene. They don’t…
Will China’s copycat culture spawn a host of smartglasses? Will China’s copycat culture spawn a host of smartglasses? SewPixie

Baidu Eye: ‘micro-innovation’ or copying Google Glass?

The tech press reported recently that Chinese search giant Baidu.com was working on a new “smartglasses” device, dubbed Baidu Eye – a computerised headset with a small LCD screen, voice commands, image…
Glass has been smashed by the critics … but is that reaction justified? Glass has been smashed by the critics … but is that reaction justified? Slinky2000

See change: is Google Glass all it’s cracked up to be?

It was labelled one of 2012’s most important inventions and “the next big thing”. So it was, with great fanfare, that Google sent its first batch of Google Glasses out into the geekdom in March - and was…
Don’t worry - your Reader data is still in there. Don’t worry - your Reader data is still in there. Ed Yourdon

Dude, where’s my data? Life after Google Reader

Google HQ’s recent announcement that its Reader platform is to be discontinued has been met with concern - even alarm - from its legions of loyal users. So where do we go from here? What will happen to…
There’s still hope for open sharing of content on the web. There’s still hope for open sharing of content on the web. Sue Waters

Google Reader is dying, but the open web lives on

Google announced today it will close its Google Reader service. Citing a declining number of users owing to the downturn in popularity of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds, Google Reader - which offers…
Will a US$732 million penalty be enough to dissuade Microsoft from violating antitrust settlements in the future? Will a US$732 million penalty be enough to dissuade Microsoft from violating antitrust settlements in the future?

Big fine for a broken promise: Microsoft’s antitrust breach puts tech firms on notice

When large corporations can shrug off financial penalties and seem indifferent to reputational damage because they’ve captured the consumers, you might wonder about the true cost of broken promises in…
A High Court ruling that Google did not engage in misleading conduct avoids a quagmire around the obligations of online and bricks-and-mortar publishers. A High Court ruling that Google did not engage in misleading conduct avoids a quagmire around the obligations of online and bricks-and-mortar publishers.

Google – and everyone else – wins by High Court decision

The High Court has ruled that Google did not engage in misleading and deceptive conduct when it published a number of advertisements created by its AdWords program. Does this mean that the advertisements…
Google has scored a legal victory over the ACCC – but what was it all about? Google has scored a legal victory over the ACCC – but what was it all about? EPA/Joechen Luebke

Warning, digital literacy required: Google wins against the ACCC

Google has won its long-running legal battle with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), after the High Court today overturned a ruling that the company had engaged in “misleading and…
Research in Motion has reinvented itself as BlackBerry — and has released two new phones to boot — but its smartphone market share will be far from peachy. Research in Motion has reinvented itself as BlackBerry — and has released two new phones to boot — but its smartphone market share will be far from peachy. AAP

A juicy BlackBerry 10 won’t make BlackBerry phones more desirable

Research In Motion (RIM), who as of this week officially changed its name to BlackBerry, has come a long way since its beginnings in Waterloo, Canada in 1984. Started by two engineering students, Mike…
Does Google’s new map point towards the “wisdom of the crowd”? Does Google’s new map point towards the “wisdom of the crowd”? Google

Google’s map of North Korea stirs social media passion and tensions

News that Google has successfully constructed and published maps of North Korea is stirring the imagination of social media aficionados around the world, but may also stir international political tensions…
Apple share price has been punished after unveilling disappointing first quarter earnings, but its “cool” status has taken a bigger hit. Apple share price has been punished after unveilling disappointing first quarter earnings, but its “cool” status has taken a bigger hit.

No longer a brand apart: getting to the core of Apple’s share price slump

The stockmarket was hoping for great things from Apple’s earnings announcement for the December quarter. Most of all, they were hoping for something that would turn around a four month slide in Apple’s…
While US regulators cleared Google of antitrust breaches for unfairly diverting traffic to their own services, the Europeans see things differently. While US regulators cleared Google of antitrust breaches for unfairly diverting traffic to their own services, the Europeans see things differently.

Google’s battle in Europe: what is really best for consumers?

At the end of a 19 month investigation into Google’s search business by the US Federal Trade Commission, many commentators declared that Google had “dodged a bullet”. In other words, the journalists believed…
A visit to North Korea by Google chairman EricSchmidt and American ambassador to the UN, Bill Richardson has raised diplomatic concerns. A visit to North Korea by Google chairman EricSchmidt and American ambassador to the UN, Bill Richardson has raised diplomatic concerns.

A North Korean tale: Google, God and the Governor

Bill Richardson, former governor of New Mexico and American ambassador to the United Nations and Google chairman Eric Schmidt have recently arrived in North Korea on a well-publicised private mission to…
Google’s tax-minimisation strategy is causing problems for the Australian Taxation Office. Google’s tax-minimisation strategy is causing problems for the Australian Taxation Office. AAP

Digital disruption is eroding Australia’s tax base

It might well have been a case of a stopped clock being right twice a day, but on the very day I had an article in The Conversation called Giant profits, tiny tax bills: time to close loopholes on corporate…
Google Ingress turns walking the city streets into a game of territorial control. Google Ingress turns walking the city streets into a game of territorial control. Google

Turf war: pick your side and get outside with Google’s Ingress

Don’t read technology blogs? Then a new innovation in massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMPORGs) may be passing you by. Perhaps, like me, such games have never been of much interest to you…
The imperative to remember information has been replaced with the imperative to remember where information is located. The imperative to remember information has been replaced with the imperative to remember where information is located. parkieblues

Outsourcing memory: the internet has changed how we remember

When Nicholas Carr’s article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” hit newsstands in the July/August 2008 edition of The Atlantic, the reaction was predictably vociferous. The essay itself – a 4,175 word editorial…
Despite earning $201 million in revenue, Google Australia paid $74,000 in tax last year. Despite earning $201 million in revenue, Google Australia paid $74,000 in tax last year. AAP

Giant profits, tiny tax bills: time to close loopholes on corporate tax avoidance

For many companies, tax is a cost of business rather than the price we pay for civilised society. The driver for tax minimisation or even avoidance is clear: the less tax business pays, the more profit…
European data protection law and Google seem to be at odds. European data protection law and Google seem to be at odds. Vermin Inc

Google slapped hard in Europe over data handling

We all know the basics: when you sign up for a Google account you provide valuable personal information that allows hardworking people at the company to build a profile of you. This will include your age…
Replacing Google Maps with Apple Maps has not been without its hiccups. Replacing Google Maps with Apple Maps has not been without its hiccups. Bert Kaufmann

Get lost: is Apple Maps on a road to nowhere?

Mapping and navigation is at the heart of how we use smartphones today. By extension, the Apple Maps app is at the heart of iOS 6. And so Apple’s decision to swap Google Maps for Apple Maps in its new…
Mark Zuckerberg rings the Nasdaq’s opening bell from the Facebook Headquarters in California. Mark Zuckerberg rings the Nasdaq’s opening bell from the Facebook Headquarters in California. EPA/Zef Nikolla

Mindshare is still Facebook’s biggest asset

With almost a billion accounts and growing, Facebook still has as strong a lock on the concept of sharing as Google does on the concept of search. As such, while no company is immune to failure, the current…
Google could face fines if it doesn’t address alleged anti-competitive practices. Google could face fines if it doesn’t address alleged anti-competitive practices. mark knol

The Google ultimatum: Europe has spoken, but what about Australia?

The European Commission (EC) has given Google “a matter of weeks” to address concerns the American search giant has “abused a dominant market position”. The announcement overnight (AEST) follows an 18-month…
Semantic search is about recognising the meaning of words, not just the words themselves. Semantic search is about recognising the meaning of words, not just the words themselves. Chris P Jobling

Google’s Knowledge Graph – has search just changed forever?

Late last week, Google representatives unveiled a significant enhancement to the company’s ubiquitous search engine. They’re calling it the “Knowledge Graph” and claiming it will support “more intelligent…
We can already control computers with our thoughts, but how deep does the rabbit hole go? We can already control computers with our thoughts, but how deep does the rabbit hole go? Warner Bros. Pictures

Into the Matrix: the future of augmented reality (and you)

The growth of augmented reality (AR) will almost certainly change the way we visually experience the everyday world. And, as discussed previously on The Conversation, it’s likely to be Google’s Project…
Google Drive has been launched in an already clouded marketplace. Google Drive has been launched in an already clouded marketplace. kilokon.tw

Dropbox and SkyDrive work – so why do we need Google Drive?

In late April, Google announced, in a relatively low-key post on the official company blog, the existence of Google Drive. The service, which has been the subject of rumours and enthusiastic chatter in…
Is the search giant’s foray into augmented reality an exciting or daunting vision of the future? Is the search giant’s foray into augmented reality an exciting or daunting vision of the future? Google

From eyewear to ‘eyeware’: Google’s Project Glass and the future of augmented reality

Earlier this month, Google released a video (see below) announcing Project Glass: the development of a pair of glasses with a real difference. Google’s augmented reality eyewear (or “eyeware”) will provide…
Should legislation be used to tame the search engine’s appetite? Should legislation be used to tame the search engine’s appetite? COG LOG LAB

Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar? Google, that’s who

We all know Google has a history of privacy-related misdemeanors but a report in the Wall Street Journal last week suggests the search giant hasn’t learn from its mistakes. The report, about the findings…
The creative sector may need a little help protecting itself online. The creative sector may need a little help protecting itself online. unsure shot

Should Google be doing more to combat online piracy?

Creators of online content should feel free to share material online without fear of non-attribution or piracy, or having their copyright or trademarks misused. Plainly, the current system of enforcement…
Going public is not without its risks, even for internet giants. Going public is not without its risks, even for internet giants. Peter DaSilva/EPA

Facebook IPO – what it means for Zuckerberg and you

Facebook announced overnight that it’s going to sell US$5 billion of shares in its long-awaited initial public offering (IPO). Company executives filed the official paperwork to get the IPO process underway…
Who really knows what you want – the search engine or you? Who really knows what you want – the search engine or you? Ste fan

Google search just got way more personal … and that’s a problem

In what has been labelled a “bad day for the internet”, Google last week changed its search engine to include personalised results from Google+. The introduction of Google Search plus Your World has led…
Looking at the earth from above can reveal incredible secrets. Looking at the earth from above can reveal incredible secrets. delayed gratification

Googling the past: how I uncovered prehistoric remains from my office

Archaeology is the study of the remains of the past but has long been predatory on the sciences and their ever-growing technologies. I was brought up as a student in 1970s Britain, when we learned of the…
What’s coming up? Where will we find it? What does it mean? What’s coming up? Where will we find it? What does it mean? h.koppdelaney

Top ten tech predictions for 2012 … and how to interpret them

Around this time of year you see plenty of articles (such as this one) reflecting on notable technologies and events of the year now gone. Such pieces will also attempt to predict the events of the year…
Stuck between sock stores and sanger stalls? This tech could really help. Stuck between sock stores and sanger stalls? This tech could really help. avlxyz

Can Google kill the Gruen transfer in time for Christmas?

Christmas is fast approaching and there’s a (very big) chance you’ve got some last-minute shopping to do. You won’t be the only one, and with shopping centres packed to capacity, it’s easy to get lost…
Is tighter online regulation a cause for despair or jubilation? Is tighter online regulation a cause for despair or jubilation? kelvin255

Stop Online Piracy Act draws battle lines for ‘control’ of the internet

Battle lines have been drawn in the US between proponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), currently being debated, and those who oppose any regulation of the internet. On one side are organisations…
Unthink is positioning itself as a force of “emancipation”. Unthink is positioning itself as a force of “emancipation”. Unthink.com

Unthink rethinks online identity – and fronts up to Facebook and Google+

On October 25, Unthink invited public beta users to put aside their YASNS (Yet Another Social Network Site) fatigue. Since then, it claims to have attracted more than 100,000 registered users. The site…
Is Google in the clutches of a crisis? Is Google in the clutches of a crisis? dullhunk

Google has lost its Buzz and missed the Wave, but is there a Plus?

It’s hard to know what to think about Google these days. Financially, the company is booming, but its reputation has suffered following the lukewarm reception for Google+, and an embarrassing outburst…
The scorecard for Google+ to date shows pluses and minuses. The scorecard for Google+ to date shows pluses and minuses. Birgerking.

Why aren’t we using Google+?

Features are not friends. That’s the simple message to Google+ from 40 University of Queensland students after using the system since its invite-only launch in July. To say the service’s fortunes to date…
Responses to climate change are becoming a crucial part of business strategy. Responses to climate change are becoming a crucial part of business strategy. AAP/Google

Google goes green … and others may follow

In early September, Google publicly disclosed details of its carbon footprint for the first time, launching the Google Green website in the process. The search giant revealed a carbon footprint of 1.5…
Carrying cards and cash on your phone seems like a big call. Carrying cards and cash on your phone seems like a big call. Google

Is Google Wallet a virtual game-changer?

So it’s finally here: Google Wallet, a free Android app that turns your (Google) smartphone into a mobile payment system, launched today. To do this, the company has partnered with Citi, MasterCard, First…
A battle is raging over search and serendipity online. A battle is raging over search and serendipity online. AndYaDontStop

Is StumbleUpon trumping Facebook in the internet attention wars?

The latest salvo in the internet attention wars has come in the form of figures from StatCounter. A relatively small content driving service called StumbleUpon drove more than 50% of all social media referral…
Google CEO Eric Schmidt will discuss collaboration at the Edinburgh TV Festival. Google CEO Eric Schmidt will discuss collaboration at the Edinburgh TV Festival. Peter Parks/AFP

Will Google get good TV reception? All eyes on Edinburgh

Google chairman Eric Schmidt will make history tomorrow as the first IT/internet executive to deliver the MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. In doing so, he will face…
It can be hard to know where the next bit of hypercharged rhetoric will come from. It can be hard to know where the next bit of hypercharged rhetoric will come from. fotoforlizzie

Patent wars … we get the war, but what about the patents?

If you believe the hype, the “patent wars” are well and truly underway. Google announced last week it will buy Motorola Mobility to get access to 15,000 of the handset manufacturer’s patents and HTC, Apple…
The battles currently being waged raise serious questions about patent law. The battles currently being waged raise serious questions about patent law. Yonhap/AAPIMAGE

Samsung Galaxy Tab vs Apple iPad: the tablet patent wars hit Australia

The mobile patent wars, it seems, have reached Australian shores. On Monday, representatives of Apple and Samsung were in the Australian Federal Court, fighting it out over Samsung’s Galaxy Tab tablet…
The suspension of Google+ accounts has raised questions about the company’s aims. The suspension of Google+ accounts has raised questions about the company’s aims. yuichio.sakuraba

The name game: is Google+ building a cathedral or a bazaar?

The phrase “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” was coined by American computer programmer Eric S. Raymond to distinguish two different approaches to the development of software. The Bazaar was likened to the…
Search engines can flag up “dubious” searches on request. Search engines can flag up “dubious” searches on request. ssoosay

Why didn’t Google catch the Norway killer?

We know the self-confessed perpetrator of the Norway killings Anders Breivik purchased six tonnes of fertiliser, a key ingredient of explosives, in recent months. We know he was under surveillance by the…
Some users have been automatically suspended from all Google services. Some users have been automatically suspended from all Google services. halilgokdal

Google+ requires real name, or else …

A fresh storm has blown into Google’s new Google+ service. The company has been suspending accounts because they contravene Google’s Community Standards – ostensibly to stop fake or spam accounts being…
When the driver’s away, the cars will play. When the driver’s away, the cars will play. joeszilvagyi

Boys and their toys: a crash course in driverless cars

It’s a science fiction staple: driverless cars navigating crowded cities. But just how close are we to such a world? How long until an autonomous vehicle could be sitting in your driveway? Last year Google…
Google+ faces an uphill struggle to win hearts and minds. Google+ faces an uphill struggle to win hearts and minds. Google

10 reasons why Google+ will never be Facebook

Google is hoping that the saying “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again” will work out for them with Google+. Launched as a private beta version on Tuesday, Google+ is the search giant’s latest…
Are traditional telephony services looking down the barrel of a gun? Are traditional telephony services looking down the barrel of a gun? Grace

You use VoIP, try and understand it: make a noise and make it clear

If you use services such as Skype, you’ll already know about Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). This is what makes your video calls with loved ones possible, and – not least with the advent of the NBN…
There’s every chance your computer has been compromised. There’s every chance your computer has been compromised. TTC Press Images

Zombie computers, cyber security, phishing … what you need to know

Today, Australia’s Labor Government announced it had started working on a national cyber security strategy, to be released as a white paper in the first half of next year. This comes amid growing concern…
Knowing me, knowing you: there is nothing we can’t view. Knowing me, knowing you: there is nothing we can’t view. tonechootero/Flickr

All-seeing eye: the future of surveillance and social media

Advanced surveillance and social media might seem like strange bedfellows. Until you look a bit closer, that is. Technologies developed for surveillance applications are typically designed with robustness…
Cloud computing could completely change the game. Cloud computing could completely change the game. sharmili r/Flickr

Chromebook: why Google has its head in the cloud

Google’s so-called Chromebook will be launched next month in the US and much of Europe, and, not unusually, “some time later” in Australia … The move was announced at the company’s flasghip I/O conference…
Dummies. Dummies.

Baby, can you drive my car?

Since 1950, more than 150,000 people have died in motor vehicle crashes in Australia. The worst year was 1970, when 3,798 people lost their lives – more than 10 deaths each day. Annual deaths are now below…
Chrome is heralded as the fastest browser, but are the others catching up? Chrome is heralded as the fastest browser, but are the others catching up?

Battle of the browsers: how the web was won

Until a few years ago, there was only one name in the world of web browsing: Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. But now, in 2011, users have more choice than ever when it comes to searching online. Before…
Last week’s Google Books ruling was a win for copyright protection. Last week’s Google Books ruling was a win for copyright protection. AAP

Google Books decision shows we need to turn a new page

The decision by a US Federal Court judge last week to reject a $US125 million settlement between Google Books and the publishing industry allows authors to protect their copyright and prevents Google from…

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